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Injured septuagenarian cries for help over N126,500 hospital bill

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By Praise Necherem

A 74-year old widow, Mrs. Josephine Ezekwe, has appealed to spirited Nigerians to assist her in offsetting a hospital bill of N126,500 charged her over an injury she sustained in Nimo, Njikoka local government area of Anambra state.

The victim, a native of the area, reportedly fell down from a commercial motorcycle she boarded following loss of control by the cyclist, while navigating a sandy patch.

Orient Daily gathered that one of the legs got stuck on the bike’s spoke and a portion of her feet was cut open, resulting to serious bleeding before she was rushed to the hospital.

A resident of the area, who preferred anonymity, described the bill as outrageous in view of the degree of the injury. He said, “Initially, the woman’s family thought the bill of N125, 000 she was given was a calculation mistake and later, they believed it was a joke. It turned out to be no joke. As we speak, the woman is still at the hospital and won’t be allowed home till her bill is paid. You can see why many people shy away from going to hospitals?”

Narrating her ordeal on her hospital bed, the septuagenarian said she was on her way to a bereaved family when the ugly incident occurred. She said she was rushed to the hospital by the cyclist where she was attended to, but given a bill of N126,500 which she said she could not afford to pay.

She said, “On Thursday, around 10am, boarded a motorcycle from my house to a relation’s house I learnt just lost his life. On our way, we suddenly fell down, and the spoke cut off my right leg. The cyclist drove straight to this hospital where I was immediately taken to the theatre.

“My daughter, insisted that the cut must be properly stitched otherwise, she would take me to another hospital. I was moved back to the ward after the stitching and have been here since that Thursday.

“It was on Saturday they brought this bill, which I can’t afford, nor have anyone to pay for me. Worse still, I can’t work on my feet to go looking for the money. There’s never a time the okada rider and I believed such a bitter experience will happen.

“If they had allowed my daughter to take me to another hospital, it wouldn’t have been like this. We’re still thinking of what to do next.”

Reacting, doctor incharge of the hospital, Dr. John Onyiuke said the patient received adequate medical attention without insisting on deposit. He said she had since been discharged, but was still in the hospital following her inability to offset the bill.

He said, “We attended to her immediately she was rushed to the hospital, without asking for a dime because we believe in saving lives first. The cut she sustained was so deep that she needed to be moved to the theater where she underwent surgery to ensure she doesn’t lose that leg.

“Having given her the necessary treatment, it’s only proper she pays the bills so we can continue to provide quality service for the people.”

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