The Federal government has approved the provision of an additional full medical oxygen plant at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH with a view to ensuring oxygen sufficiency in the hospital and other neighbouring hospitals that depend on the Tertiary institution for their oxygen needs.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire who spoke during his working tour of facilities at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH said also promised to ensure that health workers at the health institution are among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Minister further disclosed that the government plans to build an oxygen plant in each of the states of the federation, insisting that the government would also be upgrading oxygen plants at LUTH to meet the hospital’s requirement as well as other neighbouring hospitals.
“The oxygen agenda has turned out to be something extremely important in managing COVID-19. In the beginning, we thought we could use ventilators, we got hundreds or even 1000s of ventilators when we find out that that’s not really what we needed. It is oxygen.
“Now, we are scrambling to quickly make do with oxygen and ensure oxygen sufficiency all over the country. The federal government has ordered one oxygen plant for every state.
Bode said apart from the new ones, the government was also going to repair the old ones.
He commended LUTH management for their commitment to treating COVID patients and the various ongoing projects to ensure that power problem was a thing of the past in the hospital.
Earlier, the Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Prof Chris Bode appealed to the Minister for assistance in the recruitment of an additional 350 nurses, 50 consultants, and 150 medical officers to supplement the shortage of residents.
He said the hospital staff strength which used to be over 3000 before has been attrition by a third.
Bode said that the hospital also needs an oxygen plant, increased overhead to cover the monthly cost of power (N45m).
He also asked for support to build a four-story isolation centre, rehabilitation of ward-e block, and rehabilitation of the Accident and Emergency building.
Bode said the hospital has queued into the government’s drive towards reversing the idea of medical tourism by perfecting the delivery of affordable, qualitative tertiary healthcare of international standards.
“The top management of LUTH has in the past three years embarked on a number of projects to reposition the institute to better serve its growing clientele and fulfill its mandate.
Many dilapidated service areas such as the Modular Theatre, the blood bank, accident and emergency department, psychiatry, dental outpatient, Block B comprising 120 beds and others were rehabilitated among others.”