.She didn’t take our medical advice, MD says

By Martins Ifijeh

A Lagosian, Mrs Toke Gambari has accused the Medical Director, Paelon Memorial Clinic, Dr. Ngozi Onyia of neglecting her sister’s nine year old son, Kitan, who was brought into her hospital for treatment.

She said her nephew, whose mother was currently outside the country, had stomach pain and high fever, hence her decision to bring him to Paelon, a health facility used by the Health Management Organisation of the boy’s mother.

“Kitan cried all night for stomach pain with high fever, so I brought him to the clinic last Sunday. We were given some drugs, but the same issue persisted, so I had to take him back to the hospital on Tuesday. He still wasn’t attended to properly, so by Wednesday I took him to the hospital again, because he was running high temperature. That was when I explained to the medical director that they should run scan to know what the problem was, since the issue persists.

“But to my surprise, she told me that we were only taking advantage of the fact that Kitan was under health insurance to come to the clinic any time we wanted. She said if we were paying we wont be bringing the boy every now and then.”

Mrs Gambari said she was pleading with the MD to at least do a check up to know what the real issue was since the boy was only nine years, while the MD was a pediatrician. “But she refused to attend to us while Kitan was reeling in pain. The MD then told us if we were paying from our pocket she would have probed further to know what really was wrong with Kitan.”

Gambari told THISDAY that she left the hospital in frustration and took him to Paediatric Partners, another health facility where they conducted an ultrasound and x-ray; and they found out he had constipation. “He was given laxatives and he is well now.

When THISDAY reached Dr. Onyia, she said the narrative by Mrs. Gambari were untrue, adding that when Kitan was brought to Paelon on Sunday, malaria and full blood count were done, but that the boy did not record any sign of fever.

“The young doctor who attended to them put him on antibiotics. But she brought Kitan on Tuesday and said the antibiotics didn’t work, that we should change it

“This time, she met me, and I examined Kitan, and told her signs show he was getting better. But she didn’t want to hear all of that. She insisted we give them a different drug. That was when I explained again to her that if she doesn’t trust our drugs, she can go get her preferred choice from the pharmacy.”

Dr. Onyia said by Wednesday again, Mrs. Gambari brought the boy and insisted that a scan be done to ascertain his stomach pain and high fever. She was complaining that the boy had fever as high as 40 degrees a night before, and that he should be properly attended to.

“I checked him again and I realised he was doing well. I asked of his parents and they said both parents had travelled to the United States. Kitan’s younger sister even said there that he was only missing his parents. I was trying to explain to Mrs. Gambari, but she flared up. That’s when I told her I had done what I professionally should have done.”

Dr. Onyia said she know at a point she got angry as well and told Mrs Gambari that if she was paying she would have sat down more to explain to her what was happening to Kitan. “I apologise for that statement, but I was really pushed to the wall by her attitude.”

“After all the talks, I still brought a questionnaire for kitan to fill, which he did, but Mrs. Gambari refused to fill hers. She angrily left the clinic despite pleas by staff.”

Dr. Onyia said she has been practising for over 35 years, and that she was a grand mother her self. “I established this hospital in memory of my late child, so I cant be insensitive to the health of children,” she explained.