The doctor was battered for demanding a registration fee from a patient.
Suspected thugs and relatives of an out- patient at a State Hospital, in Ota, Ogun State, took the law into their hands, as they beat up an on-call medical doctor.
The ‘sin’ of the physician, Moruf Ademosu, was requesting the government-approved registration fee before attending to the patient.
The Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Ogun State Chapter, said, over the weekend, that the ugly experience was becoming rampant with its members. To prevent further attacks, they recommended that government should henceforth provide adequate security in all hospitals in the state.
Narrating the incident to newsmen in Abeokuta, the association’s Public Relations Officer, Gaffar Akinsanya, said that contrary to the State Government’s free healthcare pronouncement, there is no free medicare in any of the state-run hospitals.
He said it was on this announcement that many patients relied, while in actual fact, none of the state hospitals offered free medical services. Mr. Akinsanya said the victim was beaten by the suspected thugs based on their belief that the state offered free medical treatment, and therefore Mr. Ademosu had no right to ask them for money.
“The doctor incurred the wrath of the hoodlums after they were asked to pay certain sum of money into the government’s treasury for the treatment of the patient,” Mr. Akinsanya said.
“This piece of advice did not go down well with the hoodlums, who were infuriated by the directive and unleashed terror on the doctor on duty. As far as we are concerned, health care service is not free in Ogun State, and people should not expect to get to the hospital and not pay for service rendered,” the doctor said.
He said there was no basis for patients as well as their relations to vent their anger on medical personnel on duty.
“Grief is a normal thing, but it should be done with all sensibilities,” the doctor’s spokesperson said.
He said the association had promptly reported the case to the State Hospitals Management Board, which had equally taken the necessary actions, leading to the arrest of the culprits.
He described the incident as a recurring decimal in the state.
“We, as an Association, are worried that our members and other medical personnel are being humiliated by people while performing their official duties. This has to stop, because we cannot be working in the hospitals and be watching over our back or wearing a camouflage,” he said.
He emphasised that security within and outside the hospitals in the state should be beefed up, and armed security personnel deployed in all hospitals in the state, to prevent future occurrences.
Lamenting the poor infrastructure and crowd control system in the state hospital, Ota, Mr. Akinsanya pleaded with the state government to re-design the hospital, which is one of the oldest in the state.
“This strategically located hospital should be upgraded to meet the status befitting of the commercial capital of Ogun State,” he said.
As at the time of filing this report, the police had arrested three of the suspects, and are ready to prosecute them.