Neuropsychiatric Hospital urges Nigerians to assist indigent, abandoned mental patients
The Medical Director, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Associate Prof. Monday Igwe has urged Nigerians to assist indigent and abandoned mental health patients to off-set their medical bills and meet-up their daily needs.
He said this was necessary as the number of people with mental challenges continues to increase.
Igwe made the plea during the 2021 Thanksgiving and Town Hall Meeting of the hospital held in Enugu.
He noted that the current bill and welfare up-keep of the patients, especially those abandoned and indigent, were currently weighing the hospital down financially, notwithstanding that at times staff assist from their personal pockets.
“We have some indigent patients as well as those patients abandoned by their relatives who currently the hospital and its staff are forced to feed, cloth and buy drugs for.
“By our calling and spirit of humanity in us, we cannot leave them to go out of the hospital care and premises as they will constitute danger to themselves, others and property.
“We are calling on good spirited Nigerians especially philanthropists, groups and faith-based organizations to come to our rescue in this aspect especially at this period of celebrations.
“People should remember these indigent and abandoned patients during this special season of sharing,” he said.
The medical director, however, said that the highest achievement of the hospital within the year was restoration of peace and cordial working environment among management and staff as well as among staff to staff.
“Prior to my appointment as Medical Director, the hospital was in serious crisis. Labour was at loggerheads with Management. The hospital staff belonged to multiple camps and there was much litigation. The crisis culminated into suspension of the outgoing Medical Director before the end of his tenure and appointment of an Acting Medical Director.
“There was also an alleged assassination of the Head of Nursing Services for which 3 of our staff were incarcerated for almost 21/2 years but have been discharged and acquitted by the courts. At present, peace has fully returned to the hospital.
“There is a good working relationship between Management and Labour. No single staff member is denied his/her legitimate entitlements. We have cleared almost all arrears of salaries inherited from previous administration including salary shortfall in 2017, promotion arrears, uniform arrears for Nurses and many other withheld salaries that did not follow due process before being implemented.
“Restoration of peace is a great breakthrough that services hitherto abandoned because of the crisis ridden environment are now better rendered. The hospital management organizes town hall meetings and prayer sessions for all staff from time to time.”
He added that “The last conversion exercise in the hospital was in 2013 and only 35 staff benefitted from the exercise. The present Board and Management have converted and advanced over 120 staff that had additional qualifications after confirmation of being genuine with relevant institutions and agencies.”
The medical director appealed to the Enugu State government, especially the governor’s wife, to please add our patients in her schedule for Christmas visit and donations.
Igwe said that the hospital was still faced with lots of challenges, including “high electric tariff and no source of water as public taps do not reach the hospital from the Enugu State Water Board.”
Others are “inadequate hostel accommodation for student nurses and payment of outstanding arrears of promotion from 2018 to 2020 among others.”
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