Mother and her four month old baby detained in LUTH over unpaid N387k medical bills (Photo)
Mrs Busayo Busari and her daughter, Fikayo, are currently being detained at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital LUTH, over the inability of her husband, Mutiu, to settle their N387, 200 medical bill.
Mutiu who spoke to Punch, said Busayo went into labor on February 27th this year and was delivered of their baby girl via Caesarian section at the Gbagada General Hospital. Due to some complications that arose after the delivery, she was referred to LUTH.
“When we got to LUTH, we were told to do some tests and buy some drugs, which finished all my money. They did the CS the following day and our baby was safely delivered. My wife and baby were discharged on Saturday, March 17, and we were told to pay N61,000 for the drugs my family used from the pharmacy before they can give us the remaining bills.
“I have paid N10,000 from the money. I have no money left on me and the people I have sought help from have just been promising. Aside from the drug bills, I still owed N65,000 for the operation, N20,000 for registration, N14,200 per week for bed space and we have spent four months already.
“Nurses and guards at the hospital are always watching us. They do not allow anyone with outstanding bills to go out until the bills are settled. In fact, during my child’s christening, we begged the nurses to give us a space and we were given a room in the ward where we named the baby Fikayomi in the presence of my aunt, a pastor, my brother and his wife,”
“I have gone as far as donating blood to raise N6,000 to feed them. I have also gone to construction sites to carry granite and cement to get money; it has been tough for me. I don’t know where to get the hospital bill of over N387,000 from,” he said.
The Deputy Chairman, Medical Advising Committee, LUTH, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo,denied the allegation that Busayo and her baby were being detained.
“LUTH is not a detention centre; we don’t have the means to detain anybody. Why will a hospital of this nature detain a patient when we know that the more you stay in the hospital, the more you don’t make bed space available for other patients? What they call detention is that a patient has been discharged, but for one reason or the other he or she is unable to pay, or has refused to pay. There are instances where some patients can really afford to pay their medical bills, but they think that if they stay for a long time the hospital will just allow them to go. When patients come in through the Accident and Emergency Unit, the policy of the government does not allow us to send them back; we have to treat them, whether they have money or not. So, once the patients are OK and discharged, it is expected that the money for drug, investigation, blood, admission and others should be paid back because we treated them based on trust.
“We have what is called revolving fund. For example, for the pharmacy, we have what is called drug revolving fund – a pool of money set aside to buy drugs for patients to use and pay back to that pool, so that whenever patients come to the hospital, drugs will be available. It is expected of every patient to pay for that; if they don’t pay, that pool will be depleted. Also, there are some facilities that are sponsored by the Public Private Partnership. You can’t use those facilities without paying.”
Mr Busari has written to the wife of the Lagos state governor, Bolanle Ambode, for assistance but is yet to get any response.