Hospitals lament rampant cases of patients absconding during treatment
Blame police for dumping accident victims without supplying contact details of relatives
The economic recession is taking its toll on some patients in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital as their relatives now abandon them in hospitals after their admission due to inability to settle their medical expenses.
The worst hit medical facilities are the government owned hospitals where the managements in order to uphold the ‘Hippocratic Oath’ of saving lives have resolved to bearing some of the burdens of the stranded patients.
Sources told The Guardian in Ilorin that the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), the state’s Specialist Hospital, Sobi and General Hospital, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Ilorin all have pockets of such cases in the last six months.
The Principal Officer at Corporate Affairs Unit of the UITH, Mrs. Funmilayo Omojasola, said where such cases are received, the hospital would often “look inward in order to resolve the issue.
“While we don’t tolerate such an attitude, we are aware of those brought in here unconscious. What we do is to stabilise them with a special fund by the management before we would ever call on their relations.”
At a private Specialist Hospital in Olorunsogo area of Ilorin, the proprietor who craved for anonymity, said there were cases of patients on admission with intravenous materials on them who under the guise of taking a stroll around the premises had cleverly left without being discharged.
He added: “The cases are more in the last two months. While we had recorded such cases as bad debts, we are using this medium to let members of the public know that such cases are hazardous to the health of those indulging in them. It can lead to a state of shock and death.”
However some of the management and proprietors of the affected hospitals have accused the police of being in the habit of “dumping” such patients on them without looking back or supplying adequate information about the accident victims.
Reacting to the development, the Kwara State Police Commissioner, Olusola Amore, told The Guardian that the constitutional role of the police with regards to road crash victims stops at the level of taking them to the hospital and trying to find out the location of their relatives “where possible.”
Amore said: “The issue of some of these patients absconding from the hospital wards has not come to us officially, but if the hospital management are saying we always dump bad cases of accident victims in their hospitals then where do they want us to drop such cases?
“I think what we are doing is to save life. Are they expecting us to start paying for their expenses after bringing them to the hospitals? They should be fair to us.”