Maureen Renfro's Blog: Couple Stranded In Lagos Hospital Months After Child Delivery

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Couple Stranded In Lagos Hospital Months After Child Delivery

Three months after Babatunde Williams’s wife, Chinwe, gave birth to a baby boy through a caesarean section; the couple has remained stranded in a private hospital in the Surulere area of Lagos State.

It was learnt that the hospital, Midas Touch Clinic, had stopped attending to the baby’s mother because the family had yet to pay about N500,000 bill incurred so far.

Our correspondent gathered that 30-year-old Chinwe, who hails from Imo State, had been on admission in the hospital since October 13, 2014.It was learnt that after the caesarean section, the woman underwent another surgery when she continued to bleed days after the birth.

Punch Metro gathered that the hospital charged N300,000 for the two surgeries while charges for accommodation, nursing care, and discharge as of December 15, 2014 stood at N172,000.

The bills read in part,

 “As of October 10, 2014: Surgeries N300,000; discharge N32,000. As of November 28, 2014: Second discharge, N80,500; accommodation, N34,000 and nursing care, N25,500.”
Chinwe said,
“As I speak with you, the wound in the aftermath of the operations is still there. I am so weak that I cannot breastfeed my baby. We used to buy baby milk for him, but we have resorted to giving him pap when we could no longer afford the milk.
“Families and friends have tried their best, but it seems they have given up on us because they are no longer coming. The doctor stopped treating me because of the debt that keeps increasing. All my capital as a trader is exhausted.”
Williams, an engineer, said he had been sacked by the company he was working for because caring for his wife took part of the company’s time. He added that Chinwe’s stomach swelled up after the surgeries.

He said,
“He lost about six pints of blood, which I bought for N14,000 per pint. I am always with her to see how she fares. In fact, our first child sleeps with us here in the hospital. I lost my job when I did not show up in the office after 10 days. I am fed up. God have mercy on us.”
Williams added that although the hospital manager had been kind to him, he was now under pressure to pay the bill.

“The manager has really tried for us. But when he realised that his money was not forthcoming, he ordered his workers to stop treating her,” he added.
Speaking to PUNCH Metro on the telephone, the manager of the hospital, Dr. Tola Fasaye, said he ordered the nurses to stop treating the patient to hasten the payment.Fasaye said he had done a lot to assist the couple, adding that he was cash-strapped.

He said
“The patient was referred to this hospital when her condition was critical. We just had to save her life first even though her husband did not deposit a dime. After the caesarean section, we discovered that she had perforated uterus. Even the blood she used, I personally borrowed money to buy them before he (Williams) paid me back.

“I had to borrow money to pay the surgeons. I told nurses to stop the dressing of the wound because the husband is proving smart. I know he does not have money, but he should go out and look for money to pay the bills.
“I owe my staff salaries and I need to pay them. But now, on humanitarian ground, I will tell my staff to dress her wound.”
Our correspondent learnt that the hospital, since last Saturday, stopped attending to the nursing mother when there was no sign that the bills would be settled.