The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has lauded the management of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu for thinking outside-the-box in tackling their numerous infrastructure and managerial challenges.
The Director of Policy and Standards of FRC, Mr Alex Elikwu, said this after inspection and verification of some projects as well as patients of the hospital on Thursday in Enugu.
Elikwu, who is the Team Leader for FRC South-East Capital Project Verification Exercise, said that what was ground was not what was expected.
“What we met on ground is not encouraging; however, it is not the making of the new medical director.
“Although, we are very impressed with the Medical Director’s managerial abilities to surmount these infrastructural and managerial challenges of the hospital after an extensive interaction with him.
“It is clear that the medical director is thinking-outside-the-box in tackling the hospital’s numerous infrastructure and managerial challenges and to make the hospital one of the best in country,’’ he said.
The director noted that the team was impressed with the Federal Government and hospital management for nearly completing the 500-seater multi-purpose hall with seminar rooms attached to it.
“It is remaining the furnishing of the building that has been captured in the 2020 budget. The facilities would soon be rented out to start making money for the hospital and by extension the Federal Government,’’ he said.
On the team’s interaction with the psychiatric patients, he noted that “they are happy and well taken care of’’, adding that this shows the personal commitment staff and management of the hospital put in.
“In our interaction with some of the patients here; you can see that they are fully of appreciation to the staff, management and Federal Government for the quality and humane services they are getting here,’’ he said.
According to him, the Federal Government needed to support the plans of the hospital and its medical director; since from evidence on ground they are managing the hospital with a sense of duty and humanitarian care.
Earlier, Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Monday Igwe, said that the hospital have some ongoing projects, which included the multi-purpose hall (not yet equipped) as well as the South-East’s 15 senatorial zones Mental Health Clinics.
Igwe explained that the clinics, a community psychiatric outpost clinics, was meant to get psychiatric care closer to the people and reduce stigma against those having mental challenges especially in this age of depression, drug abuse, suicide etc.
He noted that paucity of fund had affected completion of projects especially South-East-wide mental health centres and funds to take care of abandoned psychiatric patients, which staff and management had continued to spend their personal money on.
One of the contractors handling the clinic projects, Dr B.C. Nnechitamu, Director of Nnachitamu Nigeria Ltd, said that he had completed building the mental health centres in three senatorial zones in Enugu State but the projects had been vandalised.
“I am appeal to Federal Government to assist in paying N30.3 million left for the three contracts so that it can be handled over to the hospital for use and functionality to scare away vandals from them,’’ he said.