Death rate increases as Imo public hospitals remain shut

Prof Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health
Prof Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health

Death rate in Imo State is rising daily as private hospitals in the state are now being overstretched with patients seeking medical attention, National Mirror investigation has revealed. This is as a result of the closure of state hospitals and Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Owerri shut down by the Federal Government over protracted labour crisis in the centre.

The Federal Government shut down FMC, Owerri following protracted industrial dispute between workers and the Medical Director, Dr. (Mrs.) Angela Uwakwem, while the state government had closed down its hospitals to carry out renovations in them ahead of the takeover by the concessioniers.

As a result, the capacity of some of the private hospitals are being overstretched as their personnel now find it more tasking to give adequate attention to patients who were evacuated from the shut down hospitals.

However, the closure is equally taking its tolls on innocent Nigerians who are being denied access to healthcare services resulting to rise in number of people that die daily.

When National Mirror visited some of the private hospitals in Owerri, it was discovered that at least four patients die on daily basis even though some of the medical directors interviewed claimed that some of the patients were already dead before they were brought to their hospitals.

Also hundreds of patients were seen besieging the hospitals. Some said that they have been waiting for several hours to see doctors.

“It has not been easy for us, we stay in waiting rooms for so long before we get attention, we are patronising the private hospitals to seek cure for our sicknesses as the only alternative because government hospitals have not been working.”

The Proprietor/Medical Director of Saint David Hospital, Owerri, Dr. Davidson Anyanwu blamed the influx of patients to private hospitals to the non functioning of government hospitals, querying how many government hospitals are today working.

“Many of the patients brought to these private hospitals are those abandoned in the government hospitals that could not be attended to because the hospitals are not functional,” he said.

On the rate of death in the private hospitals, he explained that most the patients were already dead before they were brought to the hospitals. “Since we are here to save lives, we will not discharge them from the gate; we hear pleadings of their people (National Mirror)

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