The Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Henry Ogboma, says the UPTH management is not disturbed by the federal government’s threat to probe its use of N950 million COVID-19 fund.
“We at UPTH are not worried about auditing because the records are there. It is only when the things are not there then you can be worried,” Mr Ogboma said.
Clem Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, in a visit to the hospital last week, expressed disappointment over the state of the isolation and treatment center.
The minister had threatened to invite the auditor-general and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the use of the N950 million disbursed to the hospital by the federal government.
However, Mr Ogboma explained that due to the decontamination of the hospital, some of the procured equipment were kept at the store and others kept at the laboratory when the minister visited.
“I heard he complained that all equipment was not in the molecular lab. Yes, some of the equipment was sent to different departments like the laboratories because we did not think they should be there when they are not in use.
“And the rest are in the store. Those (equipment) we already have in the department, we sent them to the store. When they are needed, we will bring them out, and if he says he wants all of them out, we will bring them out,” Mr Ogboma said.
He explained that the equipments were moved to the isolation center because of the new wave of COVID-19 coming up.
According to him, the hospital decided to decontaminate the place, and since they’ve not had patients for some time, locked up the rest items in the store.
Speaking further, Mr Ogboma said, “You don’t expect to go to wards and you will not see mattresses, and bed sheets. Because of this decontamination, they took them away.”
The UPTH boss noted that all the equipment has now been returned even though the decontamination is half complete.
The CMD recalls that he met an already ruined hospital in January 2018 when he resumed office, which led to the loss of some accredited departments such as Neurosurgery. However, he said with the support from the federal government, the UPTH now has a new look.
He said the bulk amount of the fund given by the federal government went into the Intensive Care Unit, followed by the Molecular lab, while the purchase of PPEs and consumables took a minimal amount from disbursed COVID-19 fund.
“All these things are there and auditors can see and probe. We are not worried about auditors.
“Actually, auditors have come, sent by the same ministry of budget and national planning, both private auditors and they are happy with us, and the records are there,” he said in a recorded interview sent to Peoples Gazette.
The CMD disclosed that he has invited the minister to the hospital to see all that was not seen on the impromptu visit.