Tactical plans, formidable strategies, and foresighted leadership are key ingredients to giving life to a system on the brink of collapse; one man mounted the saddle and the story changed bringing accelerated progress to a once dormant and ill-motivated institution riddled with inefficiency and decay. To halt the ugly tides, he set forth a roadmap that has today revolutionised the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) as a hub of excellent healthcare delivery, research, manpower training, and development.
University of Benin Teaching Hospital carved a notorious niche for awful service delivery in the healthcare palace; unpalatable stories abound on her poor service delivery and its rating as a serious model of medical services and research was in no way favourable to common sense. How did the story change in just one year?
LEADERSHIP has been suggested to be an important factor in driving innovation; a number of innovations embarked on by the new leadership of UBTH have shown that transformational leadership positively influences organisational innovation. Professor Darlington E Obaseki wasted no time in rolling out a working model he termed ‘The quadruplet Plan’, a four -Year Strategic Reform Plan for the teaching hospital. The plan, which was formulated to provide a roadmap to guide all stakeholders to passionately pursue the common goal making of the institution as the hub of excellent healthcare delivery, research, manpower training, and development, is a strategic response to the health challenges hitherto facing the institution.
Let it be on record that the University of Benin Teaching Hospital is a leading reference in healthcare delivery, education and research, little wonder its feat as the first and only centre in West Africa to have successfully undertaken stem cell transplants; first public health institution to establish an assisted reproductive health unit in Nigeria as well as the first Geriatrics Units in West Africa, it is rating as the best and most functional centre for Occupational Therapy interns in the South-South Nigeria all put together, can be linked to innovative leadership .
A key catalyst for efficient service delivery is epic technological shift, and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital has keyed into its revolution. Its robust research agenda has given rise to measurable research platforms like the e-health technology, including telemedicine in research, its repository of research output and its scientific collation and reports of autopsies and pathological services.
Besides the techniques or the fancy equipment in hospitals, what makes a hospital great is the culture of leadership that makes them great. Day to day care isn’t sufficient to make a hospital’s reputation but having a well-oiled team of clinicians who believe in supporting one another and doing their best. The hospital’s new innovation of increasing public accountability has added a statistical dimension to the running of the system- one can easily access information- mortality rates, admissions and patients’ satisfaction are readily available in the teaching hospital.
However, like every other institution in Nigeria, what can be done to solve the precarious issues of inadequate staff strength leading to endless waiting of patients, poor funding as occasioned by inadequate government funding that has led to deficits in personnel, overhead and capital allocation to the hospital, gross inadequate equipment that are penetrating realities that confront the institution?
Only time can tell but for now, it is the Obaseki-model that is the reference in using innovative leadership to make the hospital anywhere a model for efficient healthcare delivery.
Abdullahi O Haruna,(Haru-spice) ANIPR , B.Sc, Mass Communication, Msc/MIAD(ABU Zaria,Business&Industrial Leadership, Lehigh University, USA, Fellow, Mandela Washington Fellowship Program, Editor-in- Chief, World Entourage Magazine, Phone:+2348035887544, Founder, Open Dialogue Initiative
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