Sunday, 2 September 2012

SOLD - Rochas and the privatisation of Imo Hospitals

Something interesting is happening to the public hospitals in Imo;  the State Government appears to have concessioned  them out to a private firm. While one newspaper reports that that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed with a British company to manage the hospitals, others report that the beneficiary for the concession is a certain Dr. Ibrahim the Chief Executive of Lantech Solutions Ltd, a Kaduna based company and reputedly a good friend of Chief Rochas Okorocha, the Governor of Imo State. I have searched - but cannot find anything about this Dr Ibrahim! I have searched online, asked colleagues and others in the sector including reputable health maintenance organisations (HMO) in Nigeria. Nobody seems to know the good doctor who will be managing all public hospitals in Imo State!  If you know Dr Ibrahim - apparently based in Kaduna - pls tell us - we will be much obliged! Imo must be better Rochas promised us....we will wait and see.

Firstly - Ill confess that I am completely in favour of seeking innovative solutions to the tragedy that has befallen our health sector in Nigeria. Public hospitals in Imo State, across board have become derelict burial sites. The health sector workforce is demotivated, the infrastructure is dilapidated and the people have since lost fate in it. Maintaining status quo is in nobody's best interest. So in principle - innovative approaches are indeed desirable in moving the sector forward. The idea of a public private partnership is not inherently a bad model. But - the challenge is the "HOW"....

One cannot help but wonder why this deal is shrouded in secrecy. Why was there no open and transparent bidding process organised for those interested. Why are the several HMOs in Nigeria not involved, or not given the option to bid? Who is this  Dr. Ibrahim and what is the pedigree of  Lantech Solutions in the health sec What is his relationship with the good Governor. What guarantees are in place for the people of Imo who fought so hard to get Rochas elected after the tragedy of the Ohakim era.

The Nigerian Medical Association has come out strongly in opposition to this move, but sadly they too have not offered any solutions to the state of affairs of the health sector in Imo. So good people - don't keep quiet. Imo does not belong to Rochas, but to the people of Imo! You have a right to know why your hospitals are being concessioned out and to whom. Nothing should be done for you without you. Communication is an intrinsic part of leadership - right now Rochas is not in communication with us about his plans. Well, maybe now that he is governor - he thinks that he does not need to any more. Hopefully, he does not ignore the good people of Imo as Ohakim chose to do.

But meanwhile - what ever you do - do not fall sick in Imo!


Anthony Umunna said...

Thank you indeed for this notice, indeed, I was one of those who was happy for the people of Imo state that they had triumphed in their choice when Rochas won. But it appears from the recent decisions in Imo state that, the methods of Rochas requires a little reminder that we are in a democracy and not military rule.
Policy from all academic and empirical schools have shown that they are most effective when stakeholder consultation is a principal part of such policy.
Even the Chinese under Socialist central planning learnt very bitterly in their first attempt at environmental policies that stakeholder mapping and their participation is intrinsic to the succes of any policy.
Recently it was reported that the same government wanted to create a fourth tier of governance without consultation with stakeholders, it may well be all with good intentions but as Paul Getty stated, no man's opinion is better than his information
If Rochas is not conversant with the policy process which is the mechanism for solving all problems or taking advantage of opportunities in civil administrations he should seek the advise of competent Imo people, they have many who are eminently schooled on the that he does not ruin his good intentions with procedural authoritarianism

Dr Nasidi said...

Dear All
It is always good to try other means, when old means are not working. However, i strongly believe experienced Imo Health Experts are engaged in this process. Imo has many of them.
Also remember the services of great Imo Sons are hired by many other parts of the country. The Governor may therefore be sending a message.
Whatever it is - our health sector require urgent transformation.
At the Federal level this tansformation is being pursued rigorously under the Leadership of Prof Onyebuchi Chukwu, Minister of Health. States must follow and catch-up with the pace.

All hands must be on deck to move our health sector forward. We must also be courageous to speak our minds and be sincere in making our contributions. Just yesterday Kaduna reported 10 cases of polio. this is a disaster and Nigeria must do everything huamnly possible to avert being the last to eradicate polio among nations of the worldm. All these days our country had been laying emphasis mostly on curative rather than preventive medicine. The Health budeget is usually in the ratio of 70% curative versus 30% preventive. The result is clear - we are in the receiving end. Smaller and poorer countries in the continent are doing better and our health indices continue to remain poor.
The establishment of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is a loud pronouncement for a pardigm shift in this regard. No going back. Nigeria must change gear and this can not depend on federal or state alone, but it must be done as a joint venture. Time for experiments must seize, and we continue to implement the National Strategic Health Development Plan that provides the road map that could lead us to the promised land."

Joseph Ana said...

Dear ChikweSeems like Gov Rochas is filling a gapping hole in Imo health similar to the hole in 99.9% of Nigeria Health 'system'' ( there used to be a system not now)..
There are gory stories of happenings in variouys shanty corners called ''specialist hospital & maternity@ run by doctors and some others especialy male nurses.

PPP in health is to be recommended but care must be taken to protect the Public.

I say .''do not fall ill in Nigeria, not only Imo''.

Joseph Ana

Anonymous said...

edI salute the courage of The Governor who has seen well what the Nigerian health sector has turned to and where it is heading under the headship on Medical Doctors.
The Nigerian health sector has never been worse. I wonder why some doctors are crying foul, since their own version of PPP is also on in some teaching hospitals round the country, in LUTH and UCH recently. The action taken by Imo state governor is seen as anti people now just because the clinic is also privatised, but if the privatization had been limited to the radiography, laboratory and pharmacy departments and probably the nursing department, the NMA will be full of praise for the governor, but since the clinic is involved the guy has done evil.
I use this medium to reccomend governor Okorocha's method of privatization to the FG as well as the SGs. If we however feel this method is not good for the masses then the version of the PPP concucted by LUTH and UCH should be the first to be dismantled.

April Thomas said...

Sounds like a double-edged move in my opinion. Our experience with the PPP system is pretty shaky, especially in the healthcare sector, but it has its concessions. I have to agree, though, making this thing work will fall on the "hows".

Don Richie said...

They always promise us. How many do they keep? propaganda.

Anonymous said... really is sad to see how bad the health system is in Nigeria. I ask friends who live back home what the structure of our health system is and no one can tell me. How do people survive....
I know I can't keep complaining. As I tell my friends here, if we want to see change....we have to go back home and implement it. But even that has its own 'k-leg'. I hear of administrative people wanting to get their own 'cut' and recognition in programs and campaigns that are been introduced into the country...or them just introducing road blocks to make the whole process frustrating making it harder to even want to commit time and money.
'E go better' just has to because the Nigerian people can only take crap for so long...we are getting wiser and hopefully our voice is getting stronger. Education is key...and so I believe we start from there.
God bless.