The Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, has explained why its cancer machine (Linear accelerator) has not been functioning in the last two months, blaming it on technical faults. Meanwhile, the hospital has faulted the recent call for the removal of the Hospital’s Chief Medical Director, CMD, Prof. Chris Bode from office by the Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA querying the legality of such call.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos, alongside top LUTH Management Officers in Lagos, the Chief Medical Director disclosed that not less than N18 million is required to fix the problem. Bode who also explained that money was not the reason why the machine has remained unrepaired, said the work on the machine was stalled due to lack of local expertise and the materials needed for the repairs.
“The machine broke down two months ago when the iron pump failed and it is not about money because we want it to be repaired like yesterday. It will cost us N18 million to repair, as we speak we are holding onto the money. When the company will import what they need we will give them the money. “Infact, there is plan now to engage another private investor to put the second linear accelerator in operation because of the enormity of the number of people that require it.
“We have the money is just for us to release it to them but we must follow government guideline,” he explained. Reacting to the call for his removal,the Chief Medical Director alleged orchestrated efforts by the Lagos State NMA to forment trouble. Bode who said LUTH only functioned for six months in the last one year due to incessant strikes, warned resident doctors who are not ready to be trained to stay away from the hospital.
Further, he alleged that the hospital is being persecuted because it did not join the last strike called by the National Association of Resident Doctors. “LUTH remained open and worked throughout the last six -week strike period in July /August because gallant consultants, residents, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, lab workers, etc kept the hospital open.
“We stopped the salaries of those on strike. We all, for once, decided that uninterrupted services should be available for Nigerians if you do not wish to train, stay away. Services are paramount and should be given whether or not training takes place. We also stopped the salaries of striking workers as we considered it fraudulent for anyone to continue receiving taxpayers’ money while denying the same taxpayers their entitled essential medical services in our hospital.”
On allegation of over age, he explained that the post of CMD is appointed by the President for tenure, adding that the current LUTH CMD is an academic staff of UNILAG and is only on leave of absence to take up the political appointment. He said an academic professor cannot be retired because an association says so and that LUTH does not report to NMA. “The retiring age of academic staff of the University was formerly 65 but was later amended in 2012 to 70 years for full professors.