Patient Did Not Die In Our Hospital, He Absconded During Strike, UITH Insists

The entrance of the University of ilorin Teaching hospital, Kwara State.

 

The University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), has dismissed reports that a patient died at its facility during a recent strike embarked upon by medical practitioners.

Channels Television had on August 25 reported that the patient, Olusola Olagunju, had been on life support before passing away.

According to a source and friend of the deceased family, Ezekiel Adewole, the victim died after the aggrieved health workers switched off the oxygen.

“This guy was living on oxygen, electric oxygen. Immediately they switched off their light, he could not use the oxygen any longer and that was how his system collapsed,” he said.

But speaking on Wednesday, UITH Deputy Medical Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Dr Louis Odeogah, described the alleged death of the patient as untrue.

READ ALSO: UITH, Doctors Deny Involvement In Patient’s Death

While stressing that no patient died in the hospital, he explained that the said victim rather absconded from the hospital during the industrial action.

“It was very surprising and shocking to us when we heard the story. We heard the union that went on a warning strike and during that period, there was a patient who was being managed for a chronic lung condition and he absconded during the period of the strike.

“No patient died in this hospital during the warning strike by the union in the hospital because the union that went on strike gave us waivers to manage critical care areas in the hospital like the Intensive Care Unit, Accident and Emergency.

“All these areas were functioning. We had over 200 patients on admission during that warning strike. It was a warning strike and we got waivers to do a lot of things for the patients,” he said.

Odeogahe’s remarks come less than a week after the Association of Resident Doctors at the UITH both denied being culpable in the death of the patient.

The doctors insisted that they were not on strike at the time, adding that they do not have access to the control of electricity supply and equipment.

The Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU), on its part, admitted that its members were on a warning strike but denied culpability.

Ugandan Minister Disguises As Patient To Catch Corrupt Health Workers

 

File photo: This shows Uganda’s Health Minister Health Minister Sarah Opendi delivering a speech in Kampala.
AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

Uganda’s health minister disguised herself as a patient and caught two medical workers demanding a bribe for free government services, she told AFP on Saturday.

Health Minister Sarah Opendi said she wore a face veil and traveled to a hospital in the capital Kampala on a boda-boda (motorbike taxi) to disguise her identity.

“I received many complaints that the staff at the hospital was extorting money from patients,” Opendi said.

She went through normal patient procedures for some laboratory tests for which she was told to pay 150,000 shillings (35 euros, $40) “yet these are all supposed to be free”.

“I told him I didn’t have the money but he insisted.”

She was then sent to fetch the testing strips from a nursing assistant, who asked for money as well.

“I paid her and thereafter I called in the police who arrested the two staff,” she said of Friday’s incident at the Chinese-built Naguru hospital.

Deputy hospital director Dr. Stephen Kyebambe expressed gratitude to Opendi for arresting the staff members.

“The minister must be congratulated for unearthing this racket of extortionists at our hospital. We are grateful. Otherwise, patients suffer in the hands of these cruel staff,” he said.

The practice of extorting patients is common in Ugandan government hospitals, where medical workers earn as little as $70 per month.

AFP