The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has appealed to all Medical Directors to ensure that patients are attended to with dignity and shall be hold accountable for the outcomes emanating from their hospitals while no emergency should be denied.
The Minister disclosed this at the joint meeting of the Minister of Health and Medical Directors of Government Hospital in FCT on Thursday in Abuja, he said calling as doctors and health workers is to save lives while health workers cannot at this time abandon a divine responsibility especially in case of emergency when the service is most needed.
According to him, “There are places today, where we suspect that needless mortality from other diseases has overtaken the threat of COVID-19. We are beginning to see that fear of, or focus on coronavirusus are making some health institutions lose sight of other health hazards in our ccommunities.
“I am talking of the frequency of reports of very sick persons being rejected and abandoned by our hospitals. Many have died having been denied attention in hospitals, or told there is no bed, often after they have made marathon journeys from one hospital to the other in search of help”, he said.
He emphasized that it is not acceptable, Nigeria cannot afford to continue to lose so many of her people, who have in fact found their way to a hospital, only to lose their lives to health conditions, some of which could have been cured. “We know that not all emergencies are covid and we know that our professional oaths oblige us to save lives and do something for those who come to us for help.
“The situation calls for reexamining our system. I understand that health workers are rightfully concerned about their safety in covid-19 pandemic. So, we have provided PPEs, training and an infection prevention and control protocol for doctors and nurses to discharge our duties safely, without risks to themselves”.
He further said this has to change and to address it. “I have directed that a side Lab for GeneXpert covid-19 diagnostic machines, which deliver results within one hour, should be deployed and activated at the National Hospital Abuja and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, to cut down waiting time.
“I also direct that basic diagnostic side labs be set up at the Emergency centers of major hospitals.The Hon. Minister of FCT and I have agreed on a protocol to make all major public hospitals in the FCT catchment area, whether managed by Federal or FCT administration, to be covid-19 sample collection sites, to facilitate fast sample collection, reduce turn-around time for test results and bring more efficiency to the response strategy”, he said.