Chief Medical Director (CMD), Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, Prof. Anthony Igwegbe, says medical services will begin at the hospital’s permanent site soon.
Prof. Igwegbe said the teaching hospital had outgrown its temporary site in terms of manpower, services and facilities which were being over-stretched.
“Construction work is ongoing at the permanent site, located between Nnewi and Oraifite communities,’’ he said.
Prof. Igwegbe, who was speaking with newsmen in Nnewi, said partial movement would commence and some clinics would be relocated to the new site including the outpatient department.
He, however, said that when the movement would begin, the in-patient department would remain at the temporary site until there would be enough buildings and facilities to accommodate them.
“This is the first phase of our movement that we hope to accomplish soon.
“We can’t move everybody at the same time; we have been doing something to move, though slowly because of funding, it has been progressive over the years. We have begun to see the end of the tunnel,’’ he said.
On allegations that the hospital had many trapped indigent patients, Prof. Igwegbe said the hospital had no policy of detaining anybody for inability to settle bills.
The medical director explained that there were some patients who could delay in settling their bills; they might be given some period of grace to pay.
He noted that it did not amount to detaining anybody for defaulting to settlement of bills for services rendered.
According to him, some philanthropists occasionally visited the hospital mainly during festivities to sort out bills for indigent patients.
“We do not trap anybody, we offer services to our patients and they are expected to pay thereafter, we use our facilities, drugs, expertise and materials.
“At the end of the day, patients are expected to pay, so that we can replenish those things to treat others, while sometimes we have patients who are indigent and we write off their bills.
“Its a great loss to the hospital because it adversely affects our finances and the running of the hospital, when we don’t replace consumables, we run out of stock,’’ he stressed. (MOI)