By Daniel Tyokua
The minister of the Federal Captial Territory ,FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello has called on public hospitals in the territory to stop rejecting patients for fear of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He disclosed this during a stakeholders’ meeting with the federal ministry of health, held to address the increasing cases of inaccessibility of routine healthcare services in healthcare facilities by members of the public due to uncertainties caused by COVID-19.
Bello condemned a situation whereby the entire public health system will be skewed and geared towards fighting only coronavirus, out of hundreds other ailments.
The minister said:“Sad stories of people being turned back in public hospitals with non COVID-19 related ailments or even denied life-saving first aid treatments for fear of contraction of the virus is not good, increasing number of cases due to community transmission has thrown up the necessity of all our hospitals to become directly involved in this fight, especially with the collection of samples” he said.
In a statement issued by Anthony Ogunleye, Chief Press Secretary to the minister, assured the residents of a continued partnership between the FCTA and the Federal Ministry of Health in the use of the facilities and expertise of both organisations for the improvement of health services in the FCT.
Though he commended the health workers for their efforts in the fight against the pandemic, even as he expressed the commitment of the FCT Administration towards sustained partnerships to step up public awareness, which he said was the key to putting a lid on its spread.
In his remarks, the minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, urged management of public hospitals not to give room for other life threatening illnesses to thrive and increase mortality.
According to him, it would bring about a serious setback if medical services, including emergency services, begin to deteriorate in the wake of COVID 19.
He stressed that neglect of any sick person was unethical and not acceptable while assuring that adequate steps were being taken to ensure that patients are not turn back from hospitals to die needlessly,
Ehanire warned that Chief Medical Directors of hospitals would be held accountable personally for the outcome emanating from their hospital, stressing that, “No emergency should be denied attention, even if it means admitting someone on a stretcher or an examination couch, to give them life-saving oxygen, instead of rejecting them and saying you have no bed. You have to do something. The least is to give oxygen”.