Association of Resident Doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi- Araba, have raised the alarm on the increment of medical bills at the tertiary hospital, even as the crisis at the institution seems to have deepened.
At an interactive session with journalists in Lagos, the resident doctors attributed the current low patronage of the hospital to the high increase in charges for admission, surgery and sundry services by over 300 percent.
The President of LUTH-ARD, Dr Moronkola Ramon Kolade, said the cause of the problems at LUTH was traceable to the culture of financial mismanagement and administrative blunders.
He alleged that the increment in medical bills was a move by the hospital management to cover financial mismanagement.
“I will also challenge the administration to present the nominal staff roll to be scrutinised. Also, the many activities and services that are being purported to be offered here are none existent. The IVF section has never offered any services and many others.
“So many machines are packed up and the management doesn’t see it as priority to get them fixed. LUTH has become a shadow of its former glory and needs to be rescued now if that position is to be retained,” Dr Kolade said.
Similarly, the General Secretary, LUTH –ARD, Dr. Adebayo Sekumade , said the increment had reduced patronage at the hospital and also frustrated training of medical doctors.
According to him, patients prefer to go to private hospitals due to the cost of medical services at the government hospital while many emergency cases are left unattended to due to costs.
He said, “Patients are helpless. Bills are high. Even clearing or being discharged from the hospital is cumbersome. LUTH’s admission and surgery fees as well as other sundry charges are not friendly, compared to other health institutions, even private ones.
“Circumcision at LUTH, which was N5,000 is now N22,000; oxygen that was free in the past now costs N5,000 per day; paediatric patients admitted for 10 days will pay not less than N50,000. Caesarean Section which was formerly N38, 000 now costs N135, 000.
“Our facilities are dilapidated. Security is an issue. It is not becoming of a reputable institution like this.
“In fact there are a lot of issues. The current CMD, Prof Chris Bode is running the institution like his private clinic, lording it over all and sundry,” Sekumade emphasised.
The doctors called for a forensic audit of all federal hospitals to ensure that patients do not continue to pay for medical services that had already been subsidised by the Federal Government.