The authorities of the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, are holding on to a five-year-old patient, Iyanuoluwa Olanrewaju, over the default of her sponsor, the Ogun State Government in offsetting her medical bills.
The infant had initially been taken to the state-owned General Hospital in Ifo Local Government Area of the state after she broke her arms and legs when her stepmother physically abused her.
The hospital later referred her to the federal facility at Idi-Aba in the state capital where she was admitted on August 11.
On hearing of the plight of the girl, the state chapter of a non-governmental organization, Child Protection Network, assumed responsibility for her medical bills for about two weeks.
Later, the state government decided to take over the responsibility when a delegation led by the Director of Social Welfare in the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Olumide Sotubo, visited the patient.
PREMIUM TIMES investigation revealed, however, that when the girl was certified due for discharge on September 16, the hospital refused to let her go as the state government had not met its commitment on offsetting the bills, totalling N49,300.
The spokesperson of the hospital, Segun Orisajo, said the state government should be contacted to explain why the medical bills have not been offset.
When contacted, however, Mr. Sotubo said the government was yet to receive medical assessment of the child.
He said the issue was not the bills, but that the state government was not yet convinced of the girl’s full recovery.
“Ogun State Government has the money to pay. But we are yet to receive medical assessment. We still want her to fully recover”, the director said.