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Hospital mgt detains student over N3m unpaid hospital bills

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By Phil Okose, Onitsha

A 200-level student of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo state, Miss Chidera Judith Izuogu, has been allegedly detained over failure to pay N3million medical bills by the management of Day Star Specialist hospital and Maternity, Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Oyi local government area, Anambra state.

The patient’s mother, Mrs. Grace Izuogu told newsmen in Onitsha Wednesday that efforts by the family to secure release of her daughter who sustained deep cut injury on her leg on July 10, 2020 had been unfruitful. She, therefore, solicited for help from government and other charitable organisation and individuals in wriggling out of the quagmire.

“I plead for help on behalf of my daughter, who has been on admission at Day Star hospital and Maternity at Nkwelle-Ezunaka since July 19, 2020”, she told newsmen amidst tears.

Mrs Izuogu, a widow, disclosed that the family had endured unprecedented pains and suffering since her daughter was injured on July 10 by a sharp flat iron used as bridge across a drainage system in front of their house. She recalled: “Immediately she fell into the drainage system, the iron cut her leg. She was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital for first aid treatment and with the assistance of a catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Henry Ugoke, she was later transferred to Day Star hospital where she has been for about four months now.”

“On October 24, she was discharged even though she cannot walk with the leg despite the fresh cut from her laps to help recovery including severe pains she is receiving all through her body presently. I was able to raise N500,000 which was deducted from N3million as advance payment before the doctor commenced treatment.”

“The doctor later deducted N580,000, given a balance of N1.8million and vowed that we cannot leave the hospital until we pay balance of the bill. I have paid a total of N1million excluding drugs and other uncountable expenses and payments made to the hospital,” she explained.

The embattled widow disclosed that the family decided to raise alarm because efforts to secure her release have not yielded fruitful results. “The worst now is that her examination comes up on 21st November at the Federal Polytechnic Nekede and I pleaded to the doctor to allow her go for the examination before she drops out even as I will continue to find means to offset the remaining bill but he refused my plea.

“This prompted me to go to press, and petition the wife of Anambra state governor, Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, the commissioner for women and children welfare to come to my rescue to avoid the continued hostage of my daughter.”

Contacted on phone, Dr. Uche Nwankwo, the Medical director of Day Star Specialist hospital and Maternity said that, “I can’t talk that issue on phone, come to my hospital so that we can talk, ok?”. Pressed further he added that, “I can’t discuss patient’s matter on phone, it is against the ethics of medical practice” and declined further comment.

Orient Weekend learnt that students of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede, have continued to storm the hospital, with the latest group that came last weekend, demanding the immediate release of their student colleague.

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