How we beat the fuel scarcity – Hospital chiefs

27 May 2015, Lagos –  Directors of some of the nation’s hospitals have said that they were not caught napping while the current fuel scarcity crises lasted.

Fuel queue.

Fuel queue.

The hospital bosses who spoke with this reporter maintained that immediately they noted the trend the scarcity was assuming, they moved decisively to counter it by making provisions for their fuel needs.

While they confessed that the situation would have become dire if the scarcity had persisted beyond last Sunday, they said their proactive actions were borne out of the fact that they did not want to saddle their patients with extra costs of accessing health care, noting that the economic condition of many of the patients were pitiable.

Awarding themselves a pass mark, the hospital chiefs said they did not record any death attributable to the scarcity, while they also maintained their regular schedules without any hitch whatsoever.

Speaking on behalf of the hospital management, the Public Relations Officer of the Agbado/Ijaiye General Hospital, Ms. Abimbola Adeola, said the Lagos State Government supported the hospital throughout the fuel crises by making available ceaseless flow of the Automotive Gas Oil, popularly called diesel.

Adeola said, “It was as if we knew that the fuel crisis was coming, because before then, we had refurbished all our generators and they were able to function to full capacity. By the time the fuel crises came, we didn’t have any fear except how to replenish our supply of diesel.

“The state government, however, mitigated our fear by linking us up with retailers through which we got ceaseless flow of diesel. Of course, the hospital paid for the fuel, but it was enough for us that we didn’t have to sweat or waste scarce resources, which is what would have happened if we had to buy from the black market; or if we had to queue for the product at the congested filling stations.”

Adeola said none of the hospital’s services was neglected throughout the fuel scarcity period, and that the hospital took deliveries of babies, while it also undertook surgical interventions, including caesarian sections for pregnant women whose conditions warranted it.

During a visit to the hospital, this reporter observed that regular hospital activities were uninterrupted, as also attested to by patients and their relations.

At the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, the fuel scarcity did not affect the usual large numbers of people who besiege the tertiary hospital for medical care.

LUTH’s spokesperson, Mrs. Hope Nwawolo, said though the situation was challenging, the hospital weathered it.

“When the management saw that the fuel crisis was becoming prolonged, it directed that attention should be focused on the most important units in the hospital.

“These include the intensive care unit, the neonatal wards where we usually have babies in incubators, as well as the theatre.

“Our outpatient department received the least power supply, for obvious reasons.

“While the scarcity lasted, the theatres ran full blast, as the surgeons still carried out surgeries on patients that had been scheduled for the procedures.”

She said the hospital did not experience any hitch whatsoever in its operations throughout the scarcity period.

At the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, the Chief Medical Director, Prof. David Oke, said though the situation was dire and actually tested the managerial ability of the hospital leadership, there was no cause for alarm.

In a text message, Oke simply said, “It’s tough, but we are managing. Thanks.”

The CMD of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Prof. Tope Alonge, said the hospital had a partnership with a Total filling station within its premises, the Bovas Petroleum Company and other filling filling stations around the hospital; all of which aided its smooth operation throughout the fuel crisis.



– Punch

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