Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Management of the Garki Hospital Abuja on Saturday said it has secured an order of court to enable it bury the remains of 22 corpses, some of them bomb blast victims, abandoned in the hospital.
The Group Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Elijah Miner disclosed this while receiving in audience the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Prof. Bem Angwe when he paid a working visit to the hospital.
A statement by the commission’s Chief Press Officer, Mrs. Fatimah Agwai Mohammad quoted the hospital management as saying that 22 bodies were abandoned in the hospital.
Miner said among the corpses were that of 2 infants even as he said the bomb blast victims were brought in without the heads which made identification difficult. According to him, some of the bodies have been abandoned for five years.
He said newspaper publications which displayed some information about the corpses could not help trace the relations of the bodies; thereby forcing the hospital to resort to getting a court warrant to decongest the morgue.
Shocked by the revelation, the Executive Secretary of the commission appealed to Nigerians, to desist from abandoning the remains of their relations in hospital morgues across the country.
Angwe said it was imperative upon family members of the deceased to pay their last respect to their deceased relatives by giving them decent burial.
He commended the management of the hospital for not rejecting indigent patients due to lack of funds, saying “this singular act has changed the perception of people about the hospital”.
He called on the Federal Government and well meaning Nigerians to make conscious efforts to upgrade the quality of health care delivery system and to make it a priority.
He lamented that Nigerians had been subjected to buying drugs from unauthorised sources resulting in needless deaths due to inadequacies that existed in the health care system.
On the issue of patients who absconded without paying their bills, Angwe assured the hospital management that the commission would work out modalities to ensure that patients that were treated on compassionate grounds but failed to fulfill their financial obligations were made to do so.
While calling on the federal government to put in place accessible and quality healthcare system which would address issues of avoidable deaths, Angwe assured Nigerians that the commission would issue an advisory to the Federal Government in this regard so that even the indigent members of the society would not have hiccups in enjoying quality healthcare.
Receiving the NHRC delegation, the Medical Director Dr. Essen Nyomudime along with his management team said they were determined to transform the hospital from average healthcare facility to “a centre of excellence even though the hospital does not enjoy any subvention from the government”.
Nyomudime said the goal of the hospital was to save lives hence it could not afford to turn back patients who could not afford to pay their medical bills, adding that “in the past few years, the hospital has given out over N27 million as discount on medical services”.
He disclosed that so far, “the hospital has carried out 43 open heart surgeries, 12 kidney transplants, and has also done some IVF at very subsidized rates”.
While expressing gratitude to the commission for the working visit to the hospital, Miner said the hospital had got a court warrant to bury the bodies who were abandoned and among them he noted, were bodies of bomb blast victims.