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Lagos Hospital Chains Woman to Urinal Pipe Over Failure to Pay Bills



Jessica Ugwoke

Jessica Ugwuoke

A private medical facility in Lagos, Samaria Hospital, is allegedly keeping a woman hostage over her failure to finish paying up her medical bills.

According to Sahara Reporters, the woman, Jessica Ugwuoke, has been prevented from leaving the hospital since August 12, and has been chained to a urinal pipe to prevent her from escaping.

The report states:

Ugwuoke was transferred from a maternity clinic to Samaria Hospital, which is located on Kudaki Road near Hostel bus stop in Egbe, Lagos State. The patient’s husband, Tochukwu Ugwuoke, was asked to pay N30,000 for blood transfusion into his wife, reported to have lost a lot of blood during labour. The couple’s baby died.

After the loss of her child, Ugwuoke has been detained by the hospital for failure to pay the hospital’s bills, which came to N285,000. The detained patient told a correspondent of SaharaReporters that the couple was not informed of the cost of the Caesarean section until after the surgery.

According to her, one Dr. Clem ordered that she be denied a hospital bed and refused her further treatment after her surgery because she and her husband could not pay the amount of the bill.

“The day they discharged me from the bed, Dr. Clem asked me to tell my husband to bring his money even if he [my husband] has to steal,” the woman said. “I have been lying down on the passageway,” Ugwuoke added. 

Jessica is calling on the Lagos State government to rescue her from captivity in the hospital.

Photo Credit: Sahara Reporters


  1. A Real Nigerian

    September 21, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Only in Nigeria

  2. Gracee

    September 21, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Like seriously? How wicked but this has to be confirmed true though.
    Her child died and she is been treated this way afterwards?smh

    Reasons why our government needs to do something about health services in this country as it is very very very poor except for some very very few private clinics with expensive bills. smh

    This is very poor. People die everyday due to carelessness and poverty. And NHIS isnt just for everyone in Nigeria when in the real sense its suppose to be. This isnt good though. 🙁

  3. Olu

    September 21, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here:
    If we all keep going to a private hospital but never pay, how will the business survive? And when that hospital keeps giving out shitty survive because they’re broke, we’ll be the first ones to crucify them.
    If you don’t have ur money, go to a public hospital.
    My comment is specific to Nigeria o abeg….I know how it works in developed nations.

    Having ranted, they shoulda found another way to get their money from her…not chain her to a pipe. what if she peme there nko?

    • Naturallyziny

      September 21, 2015 at 2:02 pm

      They didn’t choose to go there, they were brought in from another hospital. I believe the hospital should let her go. she has lost her child already.

    • Manny

      September 21, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      Naturallyziny, why don’t you go to Samaria Hospital (address should be easy to get) and show some love by paying some of the bill. This woman needs help no doubt but why should the hospital be made to lose? The hospital also needs help. Do their generators run on water? This mentality is wrong. It’s the same mentality where if a car hits a more expensive one, the culprit can just beg and go free, after all richer people can’t feel a dent in their finances right?


      September 21, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      I agree with you but if truly they didn’t inform them of cost for the C-Section then they’re completely in the wrong. But besides that, tying her to a pipe, even after the loss of her baby? Savages!

    • Taiwo

      September 21, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      No hos[ital can give you the exact cost of a CS. Treatment varies from patient to patient. One Patient may need up to 3 pints of blood post – op, while another may need just 1 pint. Add the cost of drugs and care to all these and more. Your bill can only come at the end of your treatment

    • Manny

      September 21, 2015 at 5:39 pm

      I am also going to play the devil’s advocate here. I think that a lot of times, Nigerians can be too sentimental and don’t look at the big picture before coming to conclusions. I’m usually very skeptical when it comes to stories about medical negligence because sometimes the picture the patients paint can be very far from the reality and everyone rushes to bash the doctors and nurses. THERE IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN NIGERIA NO DOUBT BUT LET’S EVALUATE EACH SITUATION UNIQUELY INSTEAD OF THE KNEE-JERK REACTIONS. There was a story of a lady that had been told to undergo a mastectomy and was faithing it, even went on to have a 3rd baby ignoring that pregnancy accelerates cancer. She died and who else does the grieving family blame? The medical team. My own sick uncle is busy mixing his prescribed drugs with all sorts of agbo with possible interactions yet he complains that the doctor prescribed the wrong drugs for him.
      Apparently, from what I read on another blog, the urinal pipe referred to here is a catheter because she had been in labor too long at the maternity clinic she was originally at and it affected her bladder functions. Hence the high bill of ~280k which included uterine rupture repair and the CS. I’m not a dr so I may be wrong on the exact procedures.
      Why don’t we criticize the government instead of the hospital? How is the hospital supposed to recoup their money? It’s not like they can set up a payment plan. Most patients would abscond. We don’t have a social security system where they can mark the bill on your credit record.
      This lady’s country failed her.
      Personally, I think it’s unfair to have the media and the public judge medical malpractice accusations. State govts should set up complaint boards consisting of solid medical practitioners. People can complain there and the board can judge if the medical team was appropriate with their treatment plan or if they dropped the ball somewhere along the line.

  4. Nkoyo

    September 21, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    This is just sad, but we cause this problems for ourselves, Lagos state now has good facilities in their health centres and even special health centres for maternity but we keep going to the private hospital that we know we can’t afford. Ignorance is killing people everyday.

    Samaria hospital treating human beings as animals, where is the love? The professional ethics? God help us.

  5. A. Brown

    September 21, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Bad grammar

  6. Idomagirl

    September 21, 2015 at 3:56 pm



    September 21, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    @Nkoyo you just said it all. To be warn is before harm.

    • Mohammad

      September 22, 2015 at 11:29 am

      Say whaaaaat?!

  8. sss

    September 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    To whom it may concern. Get a health insurance today. That way your medical bills will be drastically reduced. Red care, Oceanic, Hygeia, etc

  9. Soraya

    September 21, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Not the first time a private hospital has refused to discharge a patient for non-payment and it won’t be the last either. Just as kids are kicked out of school for non-payment of fees, hospitals will suspend treatment for non-payment. I feel sorry for the woman but people should know by now that in Nigeria, nothing goes for free in the private sector

  10. Minka

    September 22, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Tot sad! Where can I find this hospital? have to give in any little way to reduce her bills. 🙁
    Never know what people go thru till you walk a mile in their shoes.

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