President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the upgrade of the Federal Medical Centre, (FMC), Lokoja to a Teaching Hospital.
The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, FUL, Prof. Akinwumi Olayemi disclosed this on Tuesday during a joint press conference at the Adankolo Campus of the institution in Lokoja.
Olayemi added that the President made the pronouncement in a letter of approval signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.
In the letter, Mustapha said: ” I am directed to refer to your letter dated 10th February on the upgrade and takeover of FMC Lokoja to a Federal Teaching Hospital, 2023.
“I wish to convey the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari for the upgrade of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja to a Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja”.
Explaining further why the university collaborated with the management of FMC to upgrade it to a teaching hospital, the Vice Chancellor said” there are about 80,000 registered Medical Practitioners on the Register of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) as of May 2022.
“Out of this number, about 40,000 Medical Doctors are actively practising in Nigeria. By the World Health Organization (WHO) standards, one Doctor is to 100 patients but in Nigeria, it is one Doctor to more than 4,000 Patients.
“This is grossly inadequate and unacceptable, especially in a developing country like Nigeria. It is indeed most worrisome in the case of Kogi State. Research conducted in recent times shows that in the next 10 years, Kogi State Medical Centres and Hospitals will experience great inertia of Medical Doctors of Kogi State origin.
“About 98% of students of Kogi State origin that applied for Medicine and Surgery with outstanding performance in JAMB and Post UTME in universities within the catchment areas of Kogi State are vehemently denied admissions to read medicine and surgery in those universities. In most cases, some of them ended up reading single honours courses like Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and so on.
” It is on the premise of the above denials that Federal University Lokoja established its own College of Health Sciences to address the seeming problem. The University was aware of the enormity of the cost implication of establishing Medicine and Surgery, especially in terms of adequate and qualified professionals, availability of Teaching Hospital, Functional Laboratories, Hostels, Library and so on.
“This was the reason that the Management of the University approached the Management of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja (FMC) to seek collaboration and conversion of the Medical Centre into a Teaching Hospital. The Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja (FMC) is to provide the training of Medical and Premedical students of the College and in addition, Laboratories and Clinics”.
In his contribution, the Chief Medical Director of FMC, Lokoja, Dr. Olatunde Alabi who was at the occasion, assured that the hospital had adequate infrastructure and manpower to assume the new status.
According to him, President Buhari has given them matching orders to ensure that the partnership between the university is sustained.
He vowed that students in the institution will not spend more than six years studying medicine.