LASUTH treats10,000 patients daily, CMD reveals

Various clinics at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, treats no fewer than 10,000 patients daily, the Chief Medical Director of the Ikeja, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo has revealed.

He disclosed this during an exclusive interview with PUNCH Healthwise, while reacting to the complaints of long waiting hours by patients.

The CMD, however, said the patients’ workloads are much greater than the capacity of health personnel on the ground.

PUNCH Healthwise had on Sunday reported how patients accessing care in both federal and state government-owned hospitals in Lagos now spend over seven hours to see a doctor as manpower shortage increases due to the Japa syndrome.

Based on the report, patients accessing care at LASUTH lamented that the waiting time at the hospital had become burdensome.

Some of the health workers, who also spoke with our correspondent blamed the long waiting time being experienced on the japa syndrome, complaining that hospitals in Nigeria are overstretched due to severe manpower shortages.

However, Fabamwo attributed the long waiting time being experienced to the failure of patients to keep to their appointment schedule.

The LASUTH boss maintained that the long waiting time at the tertiary facility was not a problem of Japa, even though some young doctors have exited the system.

Fabamwo, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Lagos State University College of Medicine, said that the state government was tackling the japa problem through its ‘Exit Replacement Programme’, which ensures that doctors who leave the system are immediately replaced.

The don noted that the problem of waiting time in LASUTH is not necessarily a result of Japa syndrome but that the patient workload was much due to the confidence that the patients have in their services.

According to him, in LASUTH alone, there is a concentration of about 200 experts – consultants in different specialties.

He said, “As far as LASUTH is concerned, the problem of waiting time is not a problem of japa. Some young doctors have indeed left, but the Exit Replacement Programme that the Lagos State Government has ensures that we replace them.

“So, at any point in time, we would have about 80 per cent of what we should have and that is not so critical.

“I think the problem majorly in LASUTH is the supreme confidence that patients have in our services. So, everybody would want to come to LASUTH to have care.

“We have a patient load that is much greater than the capacity on the ground. If I tell you that about 10,000 patients pass through our clinics every blessed day, would you believe it? So, it is not a question of japa.”

He assured that LASUTH was working assiduously to address the issue of waiting time.

“We are using a segmental appointment system but it is not working. But why is it not working? People do not keep to their schedule.

“You ask somebody to come between 8 am and 9 am; somebody to come between 9 am and 10 am, somebody to between 10 am and 11 am.

“The fellow that you asked to come between 10 am and 11 am will arrive by 6 am and then he will now start complaining that I have been waiting here since 6 am. Your designated time is 10 am. So, come at 10. So those are the issues that we are dealing with.

“In the developed countries, this segmental appointment system works. When you need to see a doctor you are given a specific time and by that time, they are ready and waiting for you.

“But in our environment here, people don’t trust the system. If you give someone an appointment by 11 am, he will not arrive by 11 am, he will come by 7 am”, he said.

He urged patients patronising the hospital to bear the small inconveniences they might encounter while accessing care and be encouraged by the good quality of service and expert care they get at the end of their visit.

SOURCE:PUNCH

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