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FMC, Lokoja

The Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Lokoja, has been upgraded to a Teaching Hospital with the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.

At a joint press conference on Tuesday at the Federal University, Lokoja, FUL campus in Lokoja, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Akinwumi Olayemi made this announcement.

According to Olayemi, the President made the announcement in a letter of approval that was signed by Mr. Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

In the letter, Mustapha said: ” I am instructed to refer to your letter dated 10th February on the upgrade and takeover of FMC Lokoja to a Federal Teaching Hospital, 2023.

“I wish to convey the approval of President Mohammadu Buhari for the upgrade of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja to a Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja”.

In addition, the Vice Chancellor stated that as of May 2022, there will be about 80,000 registered medical practitioners on the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) Register, which is another reason why the university worked with the management of FMC to transform it into a teaching hospital.

Out of this number, about 40,000 Medical Doctors are actively practising in Nigeria. By the World Health Organization (WHO) standards, one Doctor is to 100 patients but in Nigeria, it is one Doctor to more than 4,000 Patients.

This is grossly inadequate and unacceptable, especially in a developing country like Nigeria. It is indeed most worrisome in the case of Kogi State. Research conducted in recent times shows that in the next 10 years, Kogi State Medical Centres and Hospitals will experience great inertia of Medical Doctors of Kogi State origin.

About 98% of students of Kogi State origin that applied for Medicine and Surgery with outstanding performance in JAMB and Post UTME in universities within the catchment areas of Kogi State are vehemently denied admissions to read medicine and surgery in those universities. In most cases, some of them ended up reading single honours courses like Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and so on.

In order to address the apparent issue, Federal University Lokoja founded its own College of Health Sciences based on the aforementioned denials. The University was cognizant of the enormous financial burden associated with developing medicine and surgery, particularly in terms of the need for sufficient and skilled personnel, the availability of teaching hospitals, functional laboratories, hostels, libraries, and other amenities.

This was the reason that the Management of the University approached the Management of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja (FMC) to seek collaboration and conversion of the Medical Centre into a Teaching Hospital. The Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja (FMC) is to provide the training of Medical and Premedical students of the College and in addition, Laboratories and Clinics.

The Chief Medical Director of FMC, Lokoja, Dr. Olatunde Alabi, who was present at the event, affirmed that the hospital has the resources—both in terms of facilities and staff—to adopt the new position.

He claims that President Buhari has given them instructions to make sure the collaboration between the university is maintained.

He pledged that no student at the school would study medicine for longer than six years.

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