The University of Benin Teaching Hospital UBTH has become a sort of “detention” facility for patients who are unable to pay their hospital bills after being discharged.
Investigation by PRIMACY NEWS revealed that some patients most of whom were delivered of their babies, lost same and could not foot their hospital bills are languishing in the custody of the UBTH.
The decry the huge bills slammed on them by management of the hospital which, always, accrue to not less than five hundred thousand naira, in cases of giving birth through cesearan session, CS.
The expose came to the fore with the story of a young lady, Bidemi Taiwo, who had been in the hospital since March 23, 2020, after giving birth to a baby boy through cesearan session but lost the child.
She was allegedly detained for non-payment of her bills to the tune of over six hundred thousand naira until she was released on October 31, 2020 due to the intervention of a Benin based Legal Practitional, Jefferson Uwoghiren and an NGO, SOTHAWACA, also based in Benin City, and other individuals who spoke up on the issue.
Further investigation by PRIMACY NEWS revealed that about ten other poor patients are still languishing in the Ward A2 over their indebtedness to the hospital.
They lamented that upon being discharged, they are no longer fed, neither are drugs giving to them, yet, the hospital bills keep mounting by the day, emphasizing that they are confined to the Ward until the bills are cleared before they will be allowed to go home.
There is the case of a pregnant woman who was admitted in the hospital in June this year, wheeled into the hospital’s theatre for cesearan session, but lost the baby, upon the her discharge, a bill of about seven hundred thousand naira was stuck on her.
The woman’s husband, Mr. Evans told PRIMACY NEWS that as a struggling young man, he sold virtually all he had to raise and paid the sum of three hundred and eighty thousand naira, despite other monies he paid, and they insisted that until he pays the entire sum, his wife will not be released to go home.
The development has cast a very big question mark on the modus operandi of the hospital, even as Members of the public are beginning to call on management of the hospital to wake up to their responsibility by reviewing cases of huge hospital bills.
Some stakeholders are of the opinion that UBTH is supposedly a Government health care facility where patients are treated with drugs and other medical equipment and as well given psychosocial support to soothe or heal the pains of their immediate past, and as such, it is not a supposed detention facility.