Medical doctors in the federal government owned University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) are now under pressure following the swelling number of patients that visit the facility daily.
Following this development, some patients either go back not attended to or referred to another medical facility thereby complicating their ailments.
Outgoing Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Uriel Etawo in a chat with pressmen on Tuesday said that currently the facility receives not less than 1,500 patients daily.
He stated that the patients rate grew from 500 when the hospital was at its temporary site, to its current level at its permanent site at Choba, due to improved facilities.
Dr Etawo however, noted that the current pressure goes contrary to the mandate of the hospital of not to exceed five pre cent of referrals from others facilities.
But with the current scenario he stated that the hospital is poised to contain the challenge with the new expansion and engagement of medial doctors now put at 400 with 130 consultants..
Among areas developed to tackle the patients’ inflow include endocospic surgery, renal transplantation, assisted reproduction , molecular medicine services, dentistry and basic life support departments.
From a modest beginning, he disclosed that the hospital has expanded to 510 bed noting that the current bed space is not enough to serve the swelling number of patients.
‘With the new health centres now under construction by Governor Amaechi”, he remarked, this problem can easily be tackled and in the future the hospital may expand upto 1,000 beds”.
As the only federal owned tertiary health facility in the South-South, Dr Etawo revealed that the hospital is the only referral centre for Avian Flu and Resistant Tuberculosis in the region.
The hospital, he further stated, also plans to introduce nuclear medicine for treatment of serious cancer cases and assisted reproduction centre to help couples with child birth difficulties.
Meanwhile, the federal government has confirmed the appointment of Dr Aaron Ojule as the new substantive chief medical director of UPTH.
Dr Etawo who confirmed the development to newsmen Tuesday said Dr Ojule was until his appointment the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital and has contributed immensely to the advancement of the health facility.