Chief Consultant Reacts
By Ismaeel Uthman
Allegations of sharp practices against doctors and matrons in General Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo, State of Osun and some other government hospitals in the state are becoming a reccurring decimal, making people to lose confidence in the personnels there and the medical services rendered.
Commonly, the doctors are being accused of lackadaisical attitude to patients in the hospital, as they were alleged that instead of giving them (patients) due medical attention, the doctors refer patients to their own various private hospitals for treatment.
OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the referral of patients by the doctors at Asubiaro to their private hospitals for treatment has become a ‘norm’ to enrich themselves at the expense of the medical and financial conditions of the patients.
Some of the medical personnels at the hospital, according to reports, were allegedly working to sabotage the efforts of the government at providing quality healthcare delivery and other services to the people of the state.
Recent findings by the medium have revealed that this unprofessional conduct of the doctors at the hospital is more prominent at the antenatal section of the hospital.
It was gathered that pregnant women do spend three to five hours before being attended to by the doctors and matrons at the hospital.
The medium learnt that some of the doctors and matrons are in the habit of subjecting the pregnant women to inhuman treatment, a situation that frustrate some of them to leave the hospital without medical attention.
Some pregnant women, who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER on condition of anonymity, accused the doctors of negligence and nonchalant attitude for their health status, alleging sabotage, swindling and unethical conducts.
According to the pregnant women, some of the doctors attending to pregnant women usually give them drugs they claim to be anti-malaria, whereas, the drugs tighten pelvic muscles so that such woman in labour would not be able to deliver on her own.
The pregnant women alleged further that the doctors would thereafter inject the pregnant woman to make her weak so as to scare her and her relatives.
As a result, many of the pregnant women who took the drug and are unable to deliver on their own would be referred to the private hospitals of the doctors for caesarean section with a uniform amount of N150, 000.
One of them said: “We are antenatal patients at the general hospital, Asubiaro in Osogbo. Doctors attending to pregnant women in the hospital usually give us drugs claiming it is anti-malaria drugs. These drugs work for the tightening of the vagina so that the woman would not be able to deliver the baby on her own. This is done in conjunction with some matrons at the hospital.
“When the woman in labour is unable to deliver as a result of the non-opening of the vagina, they will tell the patient that they want to help her by referring her to a doctor. They will warn her not to tell the gatemen where she is going to if asked.
“To the surprise of the patient, the doctor would turn out to be the same doctor attending to them at Asubiaro hospital and then tell her that she needs Caesarian Section (CS) which will cost her N150, 000 naira.”
The pregnant woman added that, some of the doctors involved in these ugly practices boast of their ‘connection with security agents and as such they could not be arrested.
According to the pregnant women, some of the private hospitals which the affected doctors allegedly refer their victims to include, Atoke Hospital, Igbona area, Oasis of Grace Hospital beside Ota-Efun Garage and Osogbo Special Hospital, Oke Baale, all in Osogbo.
They challenged anyone to visit the private hospitals listed and interview each of the antenatal patients there on the circumstances that led them to the hospitals.
They stated that as Aregbesola government is working to protect lives of women in the state, the doctors and matrons at Asubiaro hospital are sabotaging his efforts.
“If any woman delivered at Asubiaro hospital, it must have been that the head of the baby was already out before she got to the hospital”, one of them stated.
Our reporter recalled a case of a pregnant woman who was referred to Atoke Hospital located at Baba Omigbodun’s house junction, Owode-Igbona Area, Osogbo last year.
The pregnant woman said she was referred to the Atoke Hospital from Asubiaro where she had been having her antennal and she delivered her baby girl through caesarean section and she was billed N150, 000.
When contacted, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu said the state government would look into the allegations.
Reacting to the allegations, the Acting Chief Consultant of the hospital, Dr Ola Ibigbami, said, “I do not think that is true”, saying, “some people might want to spoil the name of the people that work here”.
Ibigbami said it is illegal for any doctor to refer patient at general hospital to any private hospital, explaining that a patient could only be referred to higher or specialist hospital with referral letter.
He called on any patient that has fallen victim of such illegal practice to come forward and provide the referral letter, the name of the hospital and the name of the doctor or health worker that made the referral.
He said: “We need to educate our people. They should know that we have Primary Health Centre, Secondary Health Centre and Tertiary Health Centre. If there is something the health workers cannot do at the Primary health centre, they will send you to a comprehensive health centre.
“When you get to comprehensive health centre where you find doctors and nurses, they will send you to a higher place like a state hospital, a state hospital can refer to state specialist hospital and a state specialist hospital can refer to either a teaching hospital in Osogbo here or outside Osogbo.
“To refer a patient requires a referral letter. A referral letter is a legal document. referral is not a wrong thing. If a patient is referred from Asubiaro to Wesley Hospital and the ambulance driver goes to somewhere else, there will not be a letter to cover it.
“The allegation has not been substantiated. We have not been able to see someone who says Mr A is responsible for the conduct. The few cases we had in the past were investigated and the people involved were dealt with. The allegation is not something we should continue to discuss if the people involved cannot produce the referral letter or mention the name of the health workers involved.
“You can challenge somebody that he referred a patient, and the response will be where is the referral letter? Let the people making the allegation come up with referral letter and if they cannot, they should be able to point to the doctor that referred them. We have means to deal with that.”