THE NATIONAL Hospital, Abuja, has debunked reports that negligence caused the death of a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, Obinna Emeka, a pharmacist, who died at the hospital on April 1 after he was hit by a vehicle in the Kubwa area of the nation’s capital.
Emeka, 27, flew to Abuja on March 31 for a meeting, his father, Emeka Ogbonna, said in a viral message on social media.
Ogbonna, a pharmacist and a monarch, said he drove his late son to the Owerri Airport on March 31, 2023, from where he flew to Abuja for a meeting.
He lamented that two days after he drove his son to the airport, he flew to Abuja on April 2, 2023, to take his son’s corpse back home from the National Hospital mortuary.
“He was full of life. I have lost my son to incompetence and negligence,” he alleged, urging that the hospital be shut down for being “a death trap.”
After the accident at 7.10 pm, sympathisers rushed Emeka to Kubwa General Hospital.
The deceased father alleged there was no medical doctor to attend to him for nearly three hours before a doctor came and referred him to National Hospital.
“At National Hospital, the doctors insisted that he would not be attended to until they had his full body scan and x-ray. The body scan and x-rays machines in the National Hospital were not working and had not been working for close to two years.
“He was taken to a private hospital to obtain the full body scan, and when my son, pharmacist Obinna Emeka, was brought back to National Hospital, it took the hospital medical team close to two hours for documentation before he was taken in for medical attention.
“At this time, his veins have collapsed. The medical team, after watching my son gradually stop breathing came out and announced to his friends and people who brought him to the hospital that they were sorry, my son, the writer, my prince, my pharmacist who worked with me in our pharmacy till March 31, 2023, could not make it.”
As a ‘prolific’ writer, the deceased wrote his first book, Ice Age, in primary school. He submitted the manuscript for his newest book to a prominent publishing house in February 2023, his father said.
Reacting, Friday morning, the National Hospital said the deceased was brought to the facility seven hours after the accident.
In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Tayo Haastrup, the hospital explained that it had all the equipment and expertise needed to attend to the patient and others.
However, the facility was silent on the claim by the deceased father that the hospital did not have the full body scan and x-rays machines needed for the corper’s scan but had to be referred to a private facility.
The ICIR reporter called Hastrupp to get the hospital’s reaction to this. He did not pick up the reporter’s calls.
The reporter also called his assistant, Eric Togbe, who promised he would call his superior (Hastrupp) to pick up. Further efforts to get Hastrupp, a monarch, to speak on the matter failed.
Part of the hospital’s statement reads, “The patient was said to have been knocked down by a vehicle along Kubwa Express Road and was taken to Kubwa General Hospital, after which he was referred to National Hospital Abuja. He was presented to National Hospital Abuja Trauma Centre on 2/4/2023, seven hours following the accident. Necessary investigations and procedures were carried out, but unfortunately, we lost the patient.
“As a matter of fact, there was no incompetence or negligence in the treatment of the said patient. National Hospital Abuja ensures that medical services are rendered promptly. Emergencies/trauma cases are given priority. Our CT scan, MRI and ultrasound machines are always available for in-patients and emergencies. Furthermore, it is a policy in National Hospital Abuja to attend to emergencies for 48 hours without emphasising the monetary aspect.”
The hospital appealed to the public to ensure patients are taken to hospitals on time for better management.