Patients and relatives of patients of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, and stakeholders of the hospital community yesterday protested against what they termed as poor service delivery in the hospital.
The patients, relatives and staff, under the aegis of Advocates for Good Governance, who carried placards and blocked the gate of the hospital, alleged that a lot of avoidable deaths have happened in the hospital because of poor management.
In a letter titled: ‘Abuse of Due Process, Racketeering, Extortion, Graft and Celebration of Corruption at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi’, and signed by concerned advocates from the hospital community which was made available to THISDAY, the group faulted the management of the hospital in contract awards.
It said: “There is lack of drugs in the hospital, and most painfully is the absence of drugs in emergency wards and theatre, leading to patients being frequently asked to go outside the hospital to buy drugs.
“Surgical operations are being frequently postponed due to lack of materials in the theatre, and this frequently leads to patients’ death in emergency situations, and wounds unattended to for many days due to lack of materials to dress them.
“As members of Advocates for Good Governance, and interested parties, we were quite concerned and alarmed to discover that jobs are racketeered and sold, and this has led to the recruitment of unqualified personnel.
“We have decided to carry out a peaceful protest to sensitise the public on what is happening in NAUTH, the only federal medical institution in Anambra State, and demand the cancellation of the whole CMD selection process, and have a new one started.”
The aggrieved group also called for the dissolution of the present hospital management board, saying they can never oversee a free, fair and transparent process, alleging that they are deeply rooted in corruption.
Reacting to the protest, the acting CMD, Ugbiaja, dismissed the protesters as faceless and paid miscreants, saying he was aware of the planning of the protest.
He said: “Those people cannot be taken seriously; they are miscreants who did not even know what they were gathered for. The hospital is a public place, the processes are open, and there are official channels to seek redress.
“It is sad that members of the hospital community could sponsor such propaganda. Whoever is not satisfied with anything should follow the right channel, which includes the hospital board and the ministry of health.
“The people behind it are not happy that they lost, even though they know nothing about hospital management.”