A Sad Loss… Pregnant Woman Dies in Hospital Over Husband’s Inability to Pay N20,000 Deposit

The practice of asking for a cash deposit in hospitals before administering treatment and the inability to pay the requested amount has been the sad cause of death of several patients. In Port Harcourt, something similar occurred recently when a lady, pregnant with her first child, died over her husband’s inability to pay the requested deposit.

PM News reports that on November 25th 2012, a 34 year old woman, Ijeoma Umumadumere, was rushed to the  Garrison Clinic in Port Harcourt when she complained of a sudden stomach pain and headache, while cooking.  She was five-months pregnant.

At the hospital, doctors insisted her husband must pay N20,000 before she was treated. However, he had only N5,000 on him and used it to  offset registration and other costs. But the doctors and nurses would not attend to his wife because he didn’t pay the N20,000 that was being demanded as a precondition for treatment. When he realised the doctors were not going to attend to his wife, he took her to another hospital but sadly, it was too late and she died.

The anger and frustration over her death was expressed by her brother, Uzoma Ahamefule who wrote a heartfelt letter to PM News. In the letter, Uzoma who lives in Austria said he couldn’t understand why doctors in a Nigerian hospital could have treated his sister that way.

“Her husband begged the doctor and the nurses to attend to her since they had collected about N5, 000 he had in his pocket in the name of registration and other little things while he would go home and bring money. He had also told them that because of the nature of the emergency and the way his wife had been shouting while on the ground that his mind had only been pre-occupied with the thoughts of rushing her to any nearby hospital and had not thought of money or any other thing as he had even forgotten to put on shoes, but all his pleading and explanations to the doctor and the nurses had fallen onto deaf ears. With her pains increasing and death knocking and the doctor and the nurses refusing to understand, there was no way he could have left her there unattended, to go home and bring money. He took her and headed to another hospital, but unfortunately my sister did not make it as the damage had already been done before the doctors in that second hospital could do something reasonable to save her life.”

“What a country, what a failure and what a loss! This is a sad story of the sorry state of the Nigerian health policy, how Nigerians are heartlessly and carelessly neglected because of money by doctors and nurses to die in hospitals, and how I lost my sister to a failed system.”

In a lot of private and public hospitals in Nigeria, this sort of deposit is usually demanded even in cases of emergency. Doctors and nurses would refuse to attend to a patient until the money is paid. In the event that this money is unavailable, the patient lies in pain and his or her health suffers.

Her death is really sad and calls for a discussion on this practice. What can be done to ensure that in our hospitals, the life of a patient is taken as priority? We understand that in most cases, the hospitals are trying to prevent a situation whereby a patient would be treated and they won’t get paid for the services rendered, however, losing a life over N20,000 is inexcusable. Are the doctors not obligated to render their services in emergency cases or is this a proper medical practice?

Let’s discuss.

68 Comments on A Sad Loss… Pregnant Woman Dies in Hospital Over Husband’s Inability to Pay N20,000 Deposit
  • Olufunmi December 2, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Nigerians n d way they think hmmmmm… money money *lips sealed*

    http://ycfonlinedirectory.blogspot.com/

    • t December 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

      I think in Nigerian medical schools, perhaps during the first three years pre-clinicals, students should have to take a course on “humanity”. They should be told that the medical profession deals majorly with life and that times will come when there will be no reward for their services; but, they have to value life first (which is what the Hippocratic Oath is all about ). Unfortunately, that Oath is only taken on the final day of graduation. I understand the fact that many people in Nigeria end up getting medical care without payment and this may have prompted the ‘pay first, treat later’ policy. but If doctors in Nigeria had true human feelings, then they will ‘treat first’ before any other thing. Afterall, it is not by force to become a doctor. I am not saying doctors should’t make money or shouldn’t survive …just that, there are a plethora of professions to choose from if all you think about is money.

  • sad! December 2, 2012 at 7:03 am

    This is purely an act of wickedness on the part of the Doctor,I wonder how he might be feeling right now! On the otherhand,I wonder how a responsible man,who is married won’t have upto N20,000 in his account…yes because I have seen such case that abound were paid job men,spend all as they earn,once there is delay in salary,you see then running up and down,to borrow,and when they have,they go in drinking…the rate Nigeria men drink still baffle me..from monday till sunday.RIP ma

    • somy December 2, 2012 at 9:45 am

      The article never said the man didnt have the money in his account, he didnt have up to 20k with him, but had in his house …. gosh.

    • Ada di ora December 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Its ridiculous that you bring up why the husband didnt have N20k. Do you know how tense he must have been when she started shouting? He was begging them to start, so he can run home and get it, but they disagreed.
      I am a physician in the US, and because I have never practiced medicine in Naija, stories like this make me cringe. I would never be able to go home and sleep at night, knowing I could have done something…

      • Cynthia December 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

        @ miss sad, pls ready very well before you talk arrant trash,the man at the moment was thinking of how to alleviate the pain of his wife and was also in a hurry, that he didn’t collect enough money at the point in time, he just wanted to rush her safely to the hospital, like duhhhh.

    • partyrider December 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      are you for real? do u know how people are suffering out there?
      it is very possible that was the last cash he had. and pls stay on the story and not nigerian men , blah blah..kmt

      • partyrider December 2, 2012 at 3:04 pm

        oh and the article even stated he had money at home but couldnt leave to get it..pls have a seat

    • maya December 3, 2012 at 12:34 am

      its either u av serious selective amnesia or u jst cnt read! even if he didnt av d money n he used it all on alcohol dt doesnt mean d hospital shuld av left her for dead! i mean in some professions money shuldnt b d paramount tin, saving lives shuld which is wt d medical profession is all about! God bless England! d doctor and nurses in charge would be goin down for gross negligence manslaughter! i mean dis is seriously Gross negligence! God please heal nigeria, starting wit Nigerians!

  • Q December 2, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Its amazing the kind of comments bella aprropves and doesn’t approvem
    The man had d money @ home,he just didn’t have d money there physically but they didn’t believe him!!!

  • raffy December 2, 2012 at 7:34 am

    My dear,no excuse oooo on d part of the doctors. What happened to the Hippocratic oath they take??? And d truth,doctors are paid peanuts most times,even if they make millions 4 hospital management….so dey should know 1st hand how it’s to be broke&under this circumstance he says he had cash @ home.
    May her soul RIP,Amen.

  • Onyinye December 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Just because of N20,ooo? Failed country!

  • Amy December 2, 2012 at 7:52 am

    My first time making a comment on this site and it’s because of you ‘sad’. My advice to you would be to go back and read the article before making such insensitive comment.

    “Her husband begged the doctor and the nurses to attend to her since they had collected about N5, 000 he had in his pocket in the name of registration and other little things while he would go home and bring money. He had also told them that because of the nature of the emergency and the way his wife had been shouting while on the ground that his mind had only been pre-occupied with the thoughts of rushing her to any nearby hospital and had not thought of money or any other thing as he had even forgotten to put on shoes, but all his pleading and explanations to the doctor and the nurses had fallen onto deaf ears. With her pains increasing and death knocking and the doctor and the nurses refusing to understand, there was no way he could have left her there unattended, to go home and bring money”.

    That was lifted from the story or the you jump that part in such a hurry to make that horrible comment? Kindly choose your words wisely<<

  • Amy December 2, 2012 at 7:53 am

    #… Or did you#

  • temmy December 2, 2012 at 7:54 am

    It happens more in private clinics,infact on a daily basis;due to their fear of losing their money;Kudos to the lagos state government(maternal and child care centre,Isolo-) in this regard,though the hospital are not always friendly but in cases like this,they ask the husband to go and get the money while they work on the expectant mother.@ least I witnessed one of such cases.I hope these private organizations can revisit the issue and find a way of dealing with it other than loss of lives of the patients.

  • lola December 2, 2012 at 8:04 am

    @ sad, if u read ds well, It was writn dt d man cldnt leave hs wife unattended 2 cos she was in pain, it is not subjected 2 d fact dt he drinks or not and even if he does, does dt mean his wife shld be left unattended to? Wonder wot deir oath is abt wen dey swear. Mtshewww. Poor woman. Rip

  • HABBA December 2, 2012 at 8:04 am

    choi! may she rest well! with that being said, the doctor must be jailed.

  • tope December 2, 2012 at 8:22 am

    This is sad,yes bt we all kip 4getn sth abt private hospitals, its nt a charitable organisation weda or not Doctors r under an oath. Ve seen a lot of hospiatls run down cuz dey ve put d patient first b4 money(dis is gud ) bt also remba dat dis is deir means of livelihood. So instead of branding the doctors evil, we shd b lukn 4 solutions such as ensurn dat evry1 is under an health insurance scheme so money neva becmes an issue wen saving sme1′s life

  • Dan December 2, 2012 at 8:32 am

    The issue at hand is pathetic. I think the whole system is a big problem. We don’t have emergency services in this country, if not an ambulance will have bring her to the hospital not her husband. Secondly most hospitals operate a system which do not give priority to emergency. Yes medical workers are available at the emergency but the materials they need to attend to emergency cases not provided free of charge. This means a doctor sees a patient and write prescription to whoever is with the patient to go and buy. I think the government should rise up to it responsibility and Nigerians should learn to identify the real cause of their problems.

  • Gbemmy December 2, 2012 at 9:30 am

    The doctors are clearly at fault , what happened to first aid , in such situations the patient should be given first aid at least to calm or reduce the pain and if the husband or whoever can’t afford the payment then we can start talking about taking her elsewhere , once it’s an emergency ,their is no excuse , and for those who just write, put yourself in their shoes if you have such emergencies like this do you run to the ATM or bank first .. Sad but we need to learn from this

  • paris club December 2, 2012 at 9:38 am

    So pathetic,@least the man paid 5k for registration and other petty unnecessary things.They have not even rendered care they r already asking for cash and no effort but in to stabilize the patient.Nowadays people who get admission to do medicine do so not because of the passion to save lives,restore life,selfless service to humanity but for the Status medicine has tagged with it as Result the hippocritic (hypocritic)oath they make is just a mere formality.The medical council of Nigeria should do something about it even the govt hospitals do same.
    u

  • KB December 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I think its very sad.I’m a lover of Nigerian movies an time without number they always show how doctors would let patients die bcos of some deposit.They should learn from their own Movies cos they do teach us something.I guess they do expose themselves.The health department should change this system and come up with somthing that could benefit the citizens that cannot affort medical care and the doctors can still be paid by the government.though in this case the husband did not have enough cash on him but he would have paid them.Peoples lives are far worth then money and a doctors duty is to save lives and abt money.Hope I’m making sense.May God comfort the family n I pray for change in Nigeria.

  • Dr N December 2, 2012 at 9:55 am

    This was clearlya classical history’s Pre eclampsia that needs very urgent attention.am sure her blood pressure would have been sky rocket high.very sad indeed.I practice in UK and it’s beautiful when all effort are made to save every life and u will appreciate the beauty of medicine.
    These are what the govt ought to provide for its citizen as their entitlement even if they have to pay tax.it’s really sad that pple are dying of preventable deaths.sad indeed.may her soul rest in peace.

    • Lara December 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      I like Dr N’s comment, makes a lot of sense – Nigeria is now very aggressive with its taxes especially Lagos State – Can they PLEASE use that to establish some basic free health care scheme or subsidies to private hospitals… we need a way forward, end of. And pls people be a little more sensitive with your comments, a precious life was lost which could have been saved. May her soul rest in peace & God comfort those she left behind.

  • Lyrical December 2, 2012 at 10:01 am

    The story does not make sense as far as I am concerned. This man could not go home to get more money (and in all honesty, was not needed to ‘attend’ to her because he was not a healthcare personell, which was the only REAL attendance she needed at the time), but decided to start taking her to another hospital to start the process of registering again? Poor prioritizing, as far as I’m concerned.
    The additional truth is that, for the “pain” to have killed her so fast, it is likely that she might have needed emergency surgery, in which case 20k would have been nothing compared to the surgeon’s bill.
    A lot of times, people go begging at hospitals, and leave ungrateful and aggressive after the “doctors and nurses” have “put life first”.
    The person who talked about a universal health insurance scheme was right on the money.

    • NIRA December 3, 2012 at 11:32 am

      I’m amazed at your comments, I doubt if you have been faced with such an emergency. Maybe you need to experience something like this for you to understand how disoriented and confused one can be when in such situation. The doctors should have saved that woman’s life, first.

  • Mana December 2, 2012 at 10:06 am

    A very sad loss indeed! It is sad that money counts more than human life. I wish that Africa had a health care system like in Germany. Here there is a health insurance contribution that is deducted frpm the salary. In an emergency, you can go into any hospital and you’ll be treated properly. This is much better. We take health for granted, especially when we are young. Only a very few of us put money aside for health, while we are nothing without a healthy body.
    Poor Ijeoma , may your soul rest in peace!

    http://www.finest-in-internet.com/

  • ChiboyChuks December 2, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Sis., #speechless…

    Kindly, visit>> http://www.chiboychuks.blogspot.com

  • Yinkabod December 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Pls I beg you in the name of God- SUE THE BASTERD.

  • what December 2, 2012 at 11:51 am

    to be honest whenever this sort of topic comes up I am always on the fence………………It would be good for the doctors to help the patients no doubt about that, as that is teh first priority of a doctor, but lets not forget how Nigerians generally like to misuse the opportunity given to them……some would run away, or would be ungrateful after the treatment and no way to track them down…………most of this hospitals are private and need money as harsh as it sounds….its all down to the government we need good healthcare regulation in this country…….even abroad if your doing any private treatment like dentistry you need to pay something….

  • UK Doctor December 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    This like this don’t happen in UK or EU that doctor will go straight to jail, healthcare in UK IS FREE OF CHARGE NHS . even some Nigerians who are illegal come to take free treatment. When will Nigeria have a better health care system to support their citizens ? I agree with the comment that it is a Failed Country. Yes Nigeria is a Time bomb ready to explode , nothing is in place. NIGERIA = TO CAPITAL FAILURE. f9…….

  • Igbe December 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    When a person decides to read medicine, is it to make money or save lives? Save the person first talk money later. I understand that the doctors also have families to look after, but I can also tell you from experience, your family will never go hungry if you do the right thing. However the repercussion of the deaths that could have been avoided you cannot fathom.

    • Gimmer December 2, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Talk money latter? Are you serious? How can you talk money later when they person vanishes into thin air? You know the only reason people can talk money later in the US is because social security system. Each person can be tracked by a social security number so they can mail you a bill, send u to a collection agency and ruin your credit score if you refuse to pay later. There is no such thing in Nigeria…Abeg..people go into medicine to “get paid”for saving lives. No one is running a Red Cross .

      • Damie December 5, 2012 at 9:04 am

        You can always collect the money after treating her though. She would have needed bed care and rest. Would her husband have stolen her from the hospital. All that was needed here was to treat her first and then demand the bill later or keep her “imprisoned” till she pays up.

  • Lexi December 2, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Is that not murder or manslaughter? To allow someone to die when you have the ability to save them should be a crime and has nothing to do with money but morals and the souls involved! The worst thing is the doc involved will be in church today and he won’t be praying for forgiveness!!!
    I was recently on a tour of all the hospitals in PH, the Gov was displaying all the investments that had been made, i was really impressed. This story makes me think differently, there is no point in investing in the hospitals if the people of PH can afford to use them!

  • i no send December 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    This matter is very sad and i really symphatize with the family but……..nigerians should look at the bigger picture..the failure of government to give basic health insurance to take care of such emergencies becos lets face it these private hospitals are not charity organisations just in case the man(whom they probably haven no previous history with) isn’t after everything unable to pay the balance who absorbs the loss??in uk and us medicaid absorbs such losses but in nigeria if a hospital makes loss after loss… they will close shop very soon and there will be no private hospital; to rush too..we need to hold our owambe and german hospitalised government officials responsible..my 2 cents

  • tezym December 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I have been saying this for years that this case needs to be addressed. As a healthcare professional we all take an oath and i won’t think any reasonable person that decided to save lives will reject people because the person does not have a deposit. The main solution to this problem is if we have a healthcare system “insurance wise” because most of these people are turned down because some can run away after treatment and the hospital needs to make profit to stay open.
    May the soul of the lady and her unborn child rest in peace, it is so sad that in this day and age we still do not have a reliable healthcare system for a country that is fifty something years old.

  • ochuko December 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    What shall it profit the doctors if he gains 20k and looses a soul.

    • Chronical December 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      Hmm deep, very deep. Mr Jonathan ou are president of a failed state! Failed administration!

  • jane michael December 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    When I hear or see such cases, I giv up on dis country. We the citizens forget we r the ones who make dis country and not the ‘government’. Imagine how heartless we can b to our fellow brothers/sisters. At 1st, I thought the case of ‘Allu’ was an act of illitracy but I can’t say say the doctor is an illiterate (or may b he is). I think Port Harcourt is a wicked and cursed city!

  • Soraya December 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Well, I live in Ireland and you must pay to see a doctor or else you will not be treated, so it is not only in Nigeria that doctors and nurses demand payment before treatment!!! You must also pay for your own prescription as well, so it is not as if it is only Nigeria that these things happen

    • Okechukwu Ofili December 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      emm because it happens in Ireland does not make it right. When it comes to saving a life, money can and should wait.

      • Tunmi December 3, 2012 at 3:15 am

        and what happens when these folks default and skip their bills (because it absolutely does happen). The doctors who went on strike gave us details.

    • Lindarose December 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      My dear, in most western world when it comes to an emergency case the treat the patient first. So I don’t totally agree with you except if is a regularly doctor’s appointment or a minor issue. Emergency cases are treated because is a life threatening issue

    • Ashley December 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      I live in Ireland too and I am a Neurosurgeon. Trust me we don’t turn people back when it comes to an emergency surgery. This kind of cray cray and shitty stuff only happens in Nigeria. A lot of Nigerian doctors have absolutely no value for life. We’ve had patients rushed into our private hospital for emergency surgery and the first thing on our minds is how we can save the person’s life and not about money. There is absolutely no way I and the doctors I work with would watch someone screaming in so much pain and not treat the person because of money. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing someone died on my watch because of money. Empathy and Humanity is something Nigerian doctors need to learn because they sure lack it a lot.

    • Obi December 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Does Ireland have a national insurance scheme? Just curious.

      In many countries with insurance schemes (not necessarily national insurance) there is a co-pay or deductible paid before service. But that is only for non-emergency situations. By those laws, emergency service though not free, is given before accounting comes knocking at your door. And it is not the nurses who do the billing.

      If we can transition to a system where those responsible for life and healing concentrate on their task and not on financial matters, perhaps the empathy factor will cease to be so tainted by money.

      The bottom line is policy and economy. We don’t need to create more unenforced policies. We need to go back to the shelves, dust those old policy books and begin to enforce them.

      Someone mentioned the Hippo Oath … If the docs can be reminded every year by not just repeating empty words, but through visuals and stories such as this … we need a democratic healthcare system where the needs of the populace drives the system and not the needs of administrators’ pockets. Easier said than done I know. BUT, it has been done. Check out the story of Aravind in India. YouTube … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L045HMoHjS0
      We need social entrepreneurs that will champion the cause. We need people with the spirit of giving back by a strong business model in order for such service ventures to work. Today Aravind serves both rich and poor … Why can’t Nigeria set an example?

      Okay, enough talk Obi.

    • Theresa December 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Do you think the Irish hospitals will turn back an emergency on the basis of no money? I seriously doubt that. I stayed in Ireland too, but I know emergency cases take priority.

  • Bunchie December 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    This sickens me. Healthcare in Africa is a joke and at the expense of the poor. Shame on the doctors and nurses and I pray that none of their family members nor love ones get to experience this kind of service. It’s shameful!

  • Lindarose December 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Our healthcare system in Nigeria is one of the major issues that has been neglected over the years. This story breaks my heart and as blunt as I might sound this is just one of million cases and if something is not done about this many more would pass on like this. The question is how can this policy be changed???? Isn’t it time, for the government to step in and deal with the issue face health care in Nigeria, isn’t it time or is it when a family member of one of them falls a victim that this issue would be looked into??? So many unanswered questions. I love my Country and I just can’t wait to hurry back home to make a difference I can’t wait. This has got to stop, if blood have to be shed for this injustice to stop then so be it.

  • cathy December 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    honestly speechless. this is so sad.

  • Dr. H December 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I practice in Nigeria. And i honestly don’t blame the Doctors and Nurses when the ask for the deposit. As long as the hospital is not running on charity, then its appropriate.
    Our people take mercy for stupidity. So many times, after the patient gets better, the dont pay. I worked at a private clinic where at the end of the month , amount in debt was over N2 million. How do u expect the nurses and Doctors who have families to get paid? Ofcourse the hospital had to let go of some of their staff to be able to sustain the running of the clinic. If the man knew he had no money, honestly, he should have gone to a general hospital where their services are cheaper.
    We dont have a health insurance system as people abroad, Paying out of pocket is difficult. But when its time to Pay my rent or my daughter’s fees , My landlord or the school doesnt listen when i say i have not been paid because some patients are still owing in the hospital where i work. its a vicious chain.
    So before you talk about the inhumanity of the doctors and nurses, understand the situation and be a doctor in Nigeria…
    It takes the grace of God and patience really.

    • Obi December 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Insight appreciated Dr H.

      For non-emergency situations, we can talk about that. No one blames docs and nurses for resenting the practice of cheating the system out of payment. Resentment is one thing, BUT manslaughter whether involuntary or not is a crime punishable by law.

      We need practitioners like you Sir/ Ma who have the industry insight and expertise to impress upon policy makers/ enforcers both local and national to re-organize our system OR devise innovative payment schemes that will benefit both healthcare providers and members of the community alike. Again, read about the Aravind business model where a practitioner like you was able to overcome the problem that you appear to be addressing.

      I can talk on and on, but the key thing I want to point out is that without changing the Nigerian government system much, we can still revamp our health system with innovative thinking and implementation. Business management/ psychology/ social marketing/ accounting … these are just some disciplines that can collaborate to come up with dynamic models which can be tried out in various locations and trust me, we will see a change. Money is only a means to an end, there are other means too. How about labour for service? Money isn’t the only means of payment that ever lived … just saying.

      I’m for sure open to discussion/ critique …

    • pleasedotell December 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      But Dr. H, this is an emergency. Like you said, you have a family. Imagine if your daughter was to be rushed to the hospital for an emergency and there was no way of contacting you or any family member for money. Your child is in pain, and bleeding, and the hospital said no. By the time you get the notice and rush to the hospital, it is too late. Would you as a Dr still agree with what another Dr did? No, because it hit closer to home. That is the thing with people, we talk and talk, but when it hits home, all of a sudden we change the tone of our voice. Do unto others as you would want them to do to you. Now I’m not saying every hospital should take in patients for free, but in an emergency situation, money should not be an issue. As a Dr, you took an oath to “save lives.” This world is selfish enough, don’t add to its increase. So please reconsider and be a blessing to those around you, and not just your family.

      • Dr. H December 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm

        @pleasedotell: trust me when i say i lot of doctors here have been a blessing to patients in so many ways. You need to be in the system to understand only then u can critisise. Its very unfortunate that the Emergency services aint “on point” here in 9ja. The level of poverty is so high that a patient comes to the hospital with his whole extended family, begging for debt to be cancelled. So many already treated patients do it. What do u do? But to let go.
        I don’t own a hospital but i have worked in a couple of private hospitals. After so many instances as above described the MD issues a decree, insisting on a deposit before treatment. What to do in such situation? Dont forget drugs used to treat the patient are bought.
        People tell so many lies to cover up an already messy situation.
        May her soul RIP.

        The whole health system here needs Re-vamp’ing….Until that is done, the present situation wont change. sadly.

  • Soraya December 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    @UK Doctor:

    No, healthcare is not FREE of charge in all EU countries- only in the UK- it is certainly not free in Ireland; also hospitals in the UK bill overseas visitors for some services. In some countries, you can’t even access their healthcare system if you are an illegal immigrant- Spain, Greece, Italy and France are examples here. Just because illegal immigrants use the NHS in the UK does not mean it is the same in the rest of the EU- in fact, using the healthcare system in some EU countries can be risky if you are an illegal immigrant as they are obliged to pass your details on to immigration/police if you are an illegal immigrant.

  • Soraya December 2, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Sorry I should have been a bit clearer in my earlier remarks- patients are not denied treatment for emergencies in Ireland but in general, patients must pay to see their doctors and for their drugs too. The national health system in Ireland is not great, so a lot of people opt for private care.
    @Obi- yes, Ireland has a national health insurance system- even when I was studying and working there, I was obliged to take out private health insurance.
    But Dr H offers an interesting dimension to the issue of money in health care- when I do understand the need for hospitals to treat emergency cases first and ask for money later, Dr H has a point in saying that hospitals are not charities and have to look after themselves too. Ultimately though, I blame the government for not investing enough money and resources into the health system

  • Gimmer December 2, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Sad and senseless death. I blame the hospital but I also can’t help but wonder why

    1. The husband had more thn 5,000naira at home but still left the home with just 5,000 naira .
    2. The husband chose to stay back with a woman in pain who is being denied treatment because of money . Is he. Physician? They obviously didn’t need him to wait, rather, they needed him to go and bring money.
    3. The husband still felt going to another hospital AFTER his encounter at the first hospital was a brilliant idea. Did he think the treatment at the next hospital would be free? This man walked into a private hospital…what was he expecting? I just find it odd to believe he couldn’t BBM, text or flash someone (assuming he can’t talk due to stress) to meet him n the hospital with 20,000 naira.

    I’m not trying to be mean but it sounds like the man’s stubbornness and negligence played a bigger role in his wife’s death that than the money hungry hospital. By now, any body with a brain in Nigeria is aware that these people aren’t running an NGO, so before you stroll into a private hospital better have your ducks in a row. This man’s action hasn’t demonstrated any sort of responsibility. I wouldn’t have chastised him as much if he had said he didn’t have the money …period.

  • Yenizi December 2, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Bellanaija losing a life over any amount of money is a sad situation TUFIAKWA!!!!!!! aruuuuu!!!

  • kenora December 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    this is so sad,the doctor in that hospital is heartless,ad wicked,l hope one day his not going to find him self in such situation,l know that God is the one that save lives.but at least he should have helped her,if not 4 the husband,but 4 the unborn baby who is waiting 4 her mom to get better,so he or she can also get better,this world is just full of wicked people..RIP ijeoma,l know u are in a save place with ur unborn baby..

  • NSG December 2, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Something has to be figured out about this insistence for deposit in emergency situations. I also know that some bad folks has taken this consession to pay later for granted hence causing problems for the innocent ones. It all boils down to the kind of society we live in.

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  • deedee December 2, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Wow,this is a dicey situation, may her soul rest in peace……..

  • igbo canadian December 2, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    yup! we definitely needs the course ‘ethics in healthcare’ in medical programs

  • spinky December 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Sue the stupid ass hospital don’t care what bullshit they got to say

  • Tunmi December 3, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Keep in mind that Nigeria does not have any form of health insurance program. (Someone please correct me on this, if the opposite is the case).

    1. Was the woman receiving some sort of pre-natal care? And where?

    2. It is ignorance on the man’s part to believe that he could go to a private hospital with only 5,00o Naira and have his wife treated. This is Nigeria, for crying out loud. One really cannot play ignorance when it comes to healthcare.

    3. Did this woman schedule to have her birth somewhere? Did she have her own doctor? She should have and again this falls on the couple. You want to have a baby, you must do all of these–especially in Naija.

    4. Why argue with the doctors? That takes time that his wife clearly did not have. That’s on him.

    5. He could have and should have gone back home to get the rest of the money. His presence was not needed at the hospital then.

    6. If we want to blame anyone, let’s blame the previous patients who ruined things. There is an article on BN about Naija’s image and how no one wants to deal with Naija. The same thing happened here. Some patients defaulted on their bills and now no one wants to deal with patients unless they can pay. And hey, let’s call our representatives and local chairman and even governor to help set up some sort of health care plan.

    7. My condolences to the man who lost his wife.

    8. We mention the hippocratic oath. What happens when the doctors and nurses cannot work because the hospital had to close down due to debts? (And don’t kid yourself into thinking this does not happen). Let’s try to think about this from all sides and let’s try to prevent this from happening again.

  • R December 3, 2012 at 3:55 am

    blood of Jesus. 20k? It shouldn’t make a difference if it is 200k. If you are a doctor, you are entrusted with human lives, you take an oath before God and man, and you should do all that is within your ability to make sure that no lives are lost.

    the state of corruption is so bad in the country that our hearts have been hardened. So, a doctor will actually watch and see a human diee? Cold.

    The government has also failed us. If there were a working health system, the chances of this happening are lower. By a working health system, I mean where a patient shows up and is treated on sight.

    God comfort her family because this is horrible.

  • Tiki December 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

    All those saying the doctor should be jailed and what not, please go and sit down. How is it the doctor’s fault? A hospital is not a charity. I wish seeing as the hospital was close by , he had rushed back home to get the money, instead of staying there pleading uselessly with doctors – He should even have mortgaged his phone as collateral while he rushes home! Pregnancy is not ordinary headache – preparation is KEY!

    I just wish someone around could have had pity on him and suretied even with an advance, so that he didn’t lose his wife and his child. What a sad way to die.

  • Dr. H December 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    All those abroad need to come and try practice in 9ja, and feel the frustration we pass through. So very Many pregnant women DONT come for antenatals., and U wonder, Do these people have any value for their lives at all.
    Its a simple case of where Literacy and ignorance plus non-chalancy work hand in hand.

  • NNENNE December 4, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Sad! The problem is that most private hospitals in Nigeria use un qualified people in their practice. Who could triage a woman with this history and turn her away?
    This woman must have been eclamptic…with that abdominal pain and headache, I would start something and at least give the husband 12-24 hrs to put some money down. This is an emergent situation. It is possible he took her to a closest hospital.
    Then again, some bad eggs are the ones that create this type of problem. They abscond after treatment. Private hospitals are like any other business. They have bills to pay too.
    It would help if the federal and/ or the state government will reimburse them if care is given in situations like this.

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