Prof. Ikpeme Ikpeme, chief medical director at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, has stated that the emigration of physicians and other medical professionals is not unique to his facility or to Nigeria.
Although a handful had actually gone, he said in an interview that he was unable to determine the precise number.
“Doctor and other medical professional migration is a global issue; it is not exclusive to Nigeria nor to UCTH.
“Professionals will always relocate to areas where they believe the going is better.
“I’m not sure how many doctors have actually left the UCTH, but I can tell you that some have.
“At UCTH, we have made an effort to foster a climate that will deter doctors from leaving. As an example, someone who is a radiologist will typically want to work in our Molecular Laboratory, Isolation Center, and ICU, which I believe are the greatest yet in the nation, because of the improved environment and equipment we now have.
He said that the hospital had developed a number of innovations that were previously unattainable, including the fact that doctors who are on call or working in the operating room are fed.
Therefore, those items were purposefully made to increase employee morale and excitement, and the federal government is also luring them with better pay to stay.
He vehemently denied embezzling the COVID-19 cash made available by the federal government.
“I won’t comment on or participate in discussions about allegations that I stole COVID-19 funds on social media. If it is true that I embezzled these funds, I doubt you will see the Molecular lab, ICU, or any of the other structures, modifications, or equipment you can see throughout this hospital. We still have PPEs from 2020 as of right now. It is untrue that we stole money from COVID-19.
“We received N950 million in total for COVID, N345 million for the ICU, N370 million for the molecular lab, over N100 million for PPEs, and over N100 million for the isolation center’s equipment. Since these monies were predetermined, we were unable to use them to purchase the buildings and machinery you desired.
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