The FCT Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr Ekpe Phillips says one of the conditions to attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is the inclusion of treatment for unknown patients.
Concise News reports that UHC is a situation in which people and communities use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose them to financial hardship.
Phillips told NAN on Friday in Abuja that unknown patients include victims of road accidents or gunshots, or people taken to hospital in unconscious state and without relatives to foot their bill.
He said that such category of patients must be attended to without any inhibition in hospitals, either private or public, to ensure the realisation of UCH.
He said that those who could not afford healthcare must seriously be considered in the attainment of UCH.
According to him, unconscious patients who cannot be identified nor say where they come from deserve to be treated without any inhibition.
He explained that “if road safety officers, officers of Nigeria Police or a good Samaritan picks an unconscious person still breathing on the road and takes such person to the hospital, he or she should be treated.
“An unknown patient deserves medical care; such patient remains a Nigerian who deserves the right to be treated in hospital.
“We may not attain UCH if the country cannot afford to take care of such unknown patients.”
Phillips also said that the peculiarity of unknown patients before now was quite difficult, adding that patients were usually rejected when taken to private hospitals.
He said the fear usually expressed by private hospitals was who would pay for the unknown patients.
Police deny releasing suspect as NAF denies rejecting victims
In related news, security authorities in Plateau State have denied claims that they released on bail a suspect responsible for the death of two students of University of Jos (UNIJOS) and a tricycle operator last Sunday around Rayfield, Jos South local government area.
Jemima, a 200 Level student of Statistics and her friend Jennifer, a final year student were in a tricycle on their way to church when a suspected drunk driver in a BMW was said to have left his lane and rammed into them.
Jemima’s older sibling, Othniel Anselm had since commenced a campaign on Twitter to get justice for the victims and has raised alarm that the Police were attempting to release the suspect on bail.
The Twitter user had stated that though the tricycle rider had died on the spot, Jemima and Jenifer had been rushed to 563 Nigerian Air Force Hospital in Jos but were rejected for not having Police report; an action that eventually led to the death of the victims.
However, according to Daily Trust, the suspect was still in Police custody at the Anglo Jos division.
It was however gathered that the suspect had been ill and was escorted to Air Force hospital for treatment and is back in police custody.
Plateau State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tyopev Terna said: “the suspect has a right to medical attention but he was escorted by the Police and is now back in our custody.
“We cannot release a suspect that was involved in an accident that cost the lives of three people.”
Through a twitter handle, Air Commodore Ibukunle Daramola, the Director of Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Air Force had denied the allegation that the victims were denied medical attention but stated that; “the two victims were indeed rushed to the hospital as reported, but by personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). Hence the issue of asking for a Police report never arose.
“All Nigerian Air Force Hospital Laboratory (NAFH) have standing instructions to stabilize and where possible, treat such victims without asking for payment.”
He further stated that, “our information indicates that one victim was brought in dead, while the other had evidence of severe head injury, which couldn’t be handled at 563 NAFH.
“Accordingly, the immediate care givers were promptly advised to move the victims to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) or the Plateau State Specialist Hospital for further treatment.”