Patients lament high cost of treatment at NOHI

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Patients at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, have continued to groan under the yoke of high cost of drugs, unfair treatment from doctors nurses and non-availability of essential drugs in the hospital. And having had enough of these unfair and unpalatable deal from NOHI, the patients and their relatives have cried out about their pathetic experiences.

Uba Group

A patient, who stayed at the NOHI, Lagos from April 2015 to February, but who pleaded anonymity, for security reasons, told The Point that treatment at the hospital is very expensive, starting from paying for dressing of wounds, to drugs, feeding and bed space.

“I was there at NOHI for 10 months, from April 2015 to February, before I left the hospital. During that period, the experience was very terrible; it was terrible in the sense that we used to pay for everything, like the kit that contains the materials they use to treat and dress wounds, drugs, food and so on,” he told The Point.

He added that patients at the NOHI do not get value for the money they pay in terms of quantity and quality in service delivery. He added, “The dressing materials are inside a pack, made up of cotton wool and other things, but what we discover is that what they put inside the pack was small, compared to what you pay for.

We usually pay N500 then, but now I heard that it has even increased to N750. “Also, we pay N1,000 daily for three square meals, but presently it is about N1,500; and the food was nothing to write home about, compared to the amount of money that was paid.

At times they bring food that is not sweet, or not properly cooked; sometimes they serve each patient four slices of bread and small portion of fried egg with Lipton tea.”

Another patient, Mrs. Caroline Joseph, who also opened up to The Point, also complained bitterly about how the nurses and doctors shout at and treat patients with hatred, as if they did not pay the hospital management for the services being rendered.

“The way the nurses treat patients is very bad, they act as if you are not paying for the treatment you are receiving; as if they are doing you a favour; most of the doctors also do shout at patients and at times, I find it difficult to stand it,” she narrated to The Point Mrs. Joseph also lamented the cost of medication, adding that compared to what obtained in pharmacies outside the hospital premises, the price patients pay for same drugs was on the exorbitant side.

She said, “The drug they give to patients in the hospital is far more expensive than the ones you buy at local pharmacy. And they will make you buy the drugs, whether you like it or not in the hospital; you cannot go and purchase any medication outside the hospital, except the ones the hospital does not have.

“The normal process is that the doctors will come and prescribe the drugs, then they will call one of the staff to go and get the drugs and you have to purchase the drugs, irrespective of the price tag.” She added that doctors always blame patients who go to purchase medication at local pharmacy outside the hospital, with claims that patients are not responding to treatment, as a result of the medication they went to purchase at pharmacies outside the hospital.

“On few occasions, when patients go outside to get the prescribed drug, the doctors will condemn the drugs and later say the patient is not responding to treatment like he or she ought to, because of the medication that was purchased from pharmaceutical store outside the NOHI and not from its pharmacy,” she added.

A woman, who pleaded anonymity, said her brother was diagnosed with shattered fibula (calf bone) and needed to be operated on. She added that although the doctors assured her that the operation would be successful, she still do not know how she was going to source for the fund.

“The bill is outrageous, I was told we have to pay over half a million naira and they do not accept deposit, they said the money must be paid in full before the operation can be done. We are not also allowed to bring in food. Everything is included in the bill,” she lamented.