Endemic corruption cripples Nigeria’s oldest teaching hospital

The University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan has sparked mixed reactions among Nigerians as it cries out over its financial challenges, particularly its staggering debt burden amounting to N328 million in unpaid electricity bills…..
The hospital, established in 1957 as the first teaching hospital in Nigeria, has recently been plunged into darkness after being disconnected from the national grid by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) on March 19, 2024.


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Expressing concern, citizens have raised questions about the management of funds generated by the hospital. Some residents recall previous instances of power outages, citing personal experiences of inconvenience and even medical emergencies.

One resident noted that despite the high medical bills paid by patients, it remains unclear where the revenue is being allocated. Another emphasized the need for transparency and accountability, calling for an investigation into the reasons behind UCH’s substantial debt to IBEDC.

Meanwhile, a health worker underscored the importance of probing the hospital’s financial management, urging journalists to uncover how UCH utilizes its revenue. The sentiment of dismay extends further, with the Chairman of the Apete-Awotan Landlords/Landladies Association attributing the situation to systemic corruption.

Responding to these concerns, UCH’s Public Relations Officer, Funmi Adetuyibi, clarified that the hospital’s internally generated revenue (IGR) is insufficient to settle its bills. Adetuyibi revealed that the current Chief Medical Director inherited a substantial debt upon assuming office in 2019, and despite efforts to pay, the debt has increased to N495 million.

The hospital acknowledges the strain caused by the ongoing strike and appeals for support to address its financial challenges, emphasizing the need for additional resources beyond its IGR.
The unfolding situation at UCH underscores broader issues of financial management and accountability within Nigeria’s healthcare sector, prompting calls for transparency and collaborative solutions to alleviate the burden on critical institutions like UCH.

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