No Negligence By Ekiti Hospital Concerning Your Mother’s Death – Gov. Fayemi Replies Man
Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State, has replied a man who accused the state’s teaching hospital of negligence over the death of his mother.
John Oluwadero, a pharmacist, had in an open letter to Governor Fayemi, published 2 May, accused officials of the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) of delay in administering treatment on his mother, the late Deborah Bolanle Oluwadero, due to possible COVID-19 infection as she suffered a shortness of breath.
The pharmacist also claimed that the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and oxygen at EKSUTH contributed to his mother’s death, describing the state and country’s health system as weak.
But in his response in a letter dated 6 May, Governor Fayemi, who consoled the bereaved over his mother’s death and commended him for raising up his concerning issues in a dignified manner, however, insisted that officials of the hospital did not commit any deliberate act of negligence.
According to the governor, investigations revealed that EKSUTH was fully operational as at the time the late Oluwadero was rushed in, adding that all equipment needed to treat her was available.
The letter read: “Before I try to address those concerns, let me let you know that I ordered an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding your mother’s death at the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital EKSUTH and I am convinced that contrary to the report you got, there were no deliberate acts of negligence in the management process. From her case file, she was attended to by 11:05am. That was within 35 minutes of her leaving home to present at the Emergency Room, including travel time, going by your timeline.
”My findings also showed that all patients coming to EKSUTH and other hospitals in the state, whether at the outpatient clinics or any of the admission points, are all checked for any symptoms to indicate their current status before admission. This standard, non-invasive procedure is not an indication that the patient is considered a COVID-19 case but rather to determine the level of self-protection the team should adopt.
“I can also confirm that there was no shortage of oxygen or PPEs before, during or after the sad incident at the ER and there was proof that all clinics were operational, even during the lockdown, as our health workers were exempted from the restrictions as essential workers.”
Governor Fayemi explained that the initial delay by healthcare workers in attending to the late Oluwadero was because they needed to assess her for COVID-19 symptoms, noting that the officials had to be “extra cautious when admitting a new patient with symptoms similar to COVID-19”.
He stated that, according to the case evaluation, the continued and unmonitored glucose administration before her hospitalisation may have complicated the health situation of the deceased, and not the shortage of PPEs or oxygen at EKSUTH.
Addressing the pharmacist’s recommendations on ways to improve the healthcare system in Nigeria, the governor admitted that the health sector in the country and Ekiti State, in particular, is weak.
He, however, noted that majority of Nigerians cannot afford to patronise an independent ambulatory service as recommended by Oluwadero as it is expensive, stating the price to be at an estimated $3,000 (N1 million).
“That is why many state governments have tried to procure ambulances for their healthcare centers. In Ekiti State, all our Secondary and Tertiary Healthcare centres have at least one functional ambulance for patient emergencies. While this may be inadequate, until we are able to adequately fund healthcare, probably through a health insurance scheme, such interventions would remain our only way to mitigate the circumstances.,” the governor’s letter read.
Governor Fayemi stated that despite the financial challenges affecting the state, his administration has prioritised the improvement of healthcare delivery and the safety, protection and well being of all residents with the purchase of various health equipment and items.
He assured Oluwadero that the state government will continue to scale-up its funding of the Ekiti State health system to make it more robust and accessible for all residents of the state.
“Government will continue to ensure that the hospitals and all our health care centres work towards an improved and responsive health system, which will be of great benefit to the generality of the people.
“I particularly find your observation on the need to increase our efforts on prevention of non-communicable diseases as a policy shift worth considering and the State Government would be glad to work with your proposed family foundation and other non-governmental organizations in this area as it should reduce the pressure on our healthcare system,” the letter read