Management Of University Of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Cross River State, Has Increased Medical Charges By Over 200%, According To Investigation By The Union.
Edem Edem, Calabar
The management of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Cross River State, has increased charges by over 200%, reports The Union. For instance, the charges at orthopedic department have been increased to over 200%. The super-major surgery performed in the hospital, which previously costs N40, 000, now costs N120, 000. 00 and above. Major operations have been increased from N36, 000 to over N98, 000 and above.
Other charges according to our investigations range from N27, 000 to over N80, 000. Our findings also revealed that the increase in charges is also observed in maternity, accident and emergency as well as other departments in the hospital. Speaking with our correspondent, an orthopedic patient in the hospital who could not do his routine check-up because of the increase in the charges said that he was disappointed at what he was told.
The victim who confided with THE UNION and declined given his name lamented the increase in the sundry charges saying that the hospital management had been making several efforts to send people out of the hospital. “One of such step was to increase the charges. Look at the group of people there (pointed his hand at emergency department) are unable to pay the new charges, tell me, what will they do now, the private hospitals are the worse, tell me where can we go, this management are insensitive to the health of the people. Please, I plead with you to beg the management to rescind such decision to the former charges” he pleaded. Also speaking, a pregnant woman who also declined given her name said she could not be attended to because the money she came with cannot meet the new charges and lamented that the charges are so abrupt that it took patients by surprise.
The staffers who also complaints about the new charges said that the money may not translate to increase in their wages and said the effect of that action was that many people will be send out of work if there are no patients to be treated. “The people will not be able to pay for these new charges hence they nurses and other medical staff may not have work to do and the management will now talk of reducing the staff strength.
This is always the spillover of such action and we don’t encourage that and urged the management to go back to the former charges” a staff said. Sadly, none of the management staff was willing to offer any comment on the issue as those met denied given their names or comment on the new charges. At the office of the Chief Medical Director (CMD), the CMD Dr Thomas Agan was said to be busy while other staff of his office said he was indisposed but some other workers however, confirmed the new charges putting it on the high cost of running the hospital.