Group seeks end to oxygen levy for cancer patients at LUTH
The Children with Cancer Intervention Initiative (CCII), a not-for-profit organisation, has called for end to collection of oxygen levy from children suffering from cancer admitted to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
CCII had in May 2013 intervened in the priority need of the hospital through facilitation of installation of oxygen piping into the Oncology Ward of the hospital for use by children to reduce the financial burden of accessing care. The machine allows free flow of air into the patient’s breathing circuit to sustain the cancer patients.
The Guardian learnt that after the installation of the equipment, it was alleged that the hospital charged N5,000 per child patient, who seek to access oxygen, as against CCII’s objective for intervention. This was later reduced to N3,000.
The group maintains that the charge is still considered high for sufferers who can barely cope with the financial burden cancer treatment demands.
Consequently, in a letter signed by Head, department of hospital services, Federal Ministry of health; Dr. Wapada Balami dated March 30,2017 regarding the hospitals’ charges for oxygen, informed CCII that the ministry does not determine service charges for the hospital and wished that the organisation explores possibility of negotiation for concession with LUTH.
“Considering the relationship your organisation already has with this hospitals, you may wish to explore the possibility of negotiating some concession for children suffering from cancer”.
But CCII maintained that; “We hereby acknowledge your letter dated May 15, 2017 with Reference Number: DHS/546/Ti/6. However, it maintained that the intervention still left a gap, which the parents and guardians of these children will have to battle with”.
“Our humble appeal sir is for the total removal of any sum of money being charged on our children for oxygen in the Oncology ward of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
According to the coordinator of CCII, Honor Onyebuchukwu whatever the amount may be, it is still a very heavy burden for the treatment of the little warriors.
The organisation declared that the best assistance for sufferers of the disease is to make diagnosis and treatment of cancer completely free for the children inmates.
Reacting to the issue, the Public Relations Officer, LUTH; Mr. Kelechi Otuneme maintained that he was not sure of such complaint before management of the hospital. Otuneme advised CCII to re-present the case before the hospital for actions.
“The case is not before me, they should come and meet with the management”, he stated.
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