NMA, Benin palace to mediate in psychiatric hospital crisis

Disturbed by the protracted crisis at the Federal Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City, which climaxed with the arraignment last week of a senior consultant, a senior pharmacist and two others at a magistrate court over allegations on felony, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has set up a panel towards an amicable resolution of the issue. Similarly, it was learnt that the palace of the Oba of Benin has summoned the Managing Director of the hospital, Dr Sunday Olotu, before it on Wednesday following protests by some groups of persons said to be dissatisfied with the way the hospital was being run.

Vice President of the Commonwealth Medical Association and immediate past national president of NMA, Dr Osahon Enabulele, heads the national reconciliatory committee. Enabulele told The Guardian yesterday that the committee would meet at the NMA state secretariat at 12noon today. He added: “I have sent letters to them for an interaction on Monday (today). I expect the parties to appear before the committee, it has been a long issue that has snowballed into this.”

Meanwhile, shortly after the four were arraigned and granted bail, their  pictures and various statements were placed around the hospital premises stating that some of those arraigned and others, including another senior consultant, Dr Ambrose Lawani, have been sacked by the hospital board, while two were on suspension. A statement by P.O Ihenyen on behalf of the managing director claimed that it was the board’s decision. A member of the board, speaking anonymously, refused to confirm or deny that position. However, the member volunteered, “if the board reaches a decision, there are procedures that must be followed in carrying such decisions out.”

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