The building housing the Accident and Emergency unit at Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Idi-Araba, Lagos, is currently under lock and key. The building was shut down yesterday after some furious family members stormed the hospital to beat up workers in reaction to the death of their loved ones.
SaharaReporters learned that, within less than 24 hours, two separate groups forced their way into the Accident and Emergency unit and assaulted staff they accused of inhumane disregard leading to the death of their relatives.
On Thursday, June 8, 2017, angry relations of a young man who died after the hospital failed to attend to him attacked workers at the unit, beating the doctors and nurses on duty. Then, around 1 a.m. on Friday, June 9, 2017, another group rushed someone to the hospital. When told that the hospital had no bed for the patient, the crowd forced their way into the Accident and Emergency building, removed a patient from a bed and placed their dying relative on it. Once the group found out no doctor was willing to attend to their relative, they turned on the staff, indiscriminately pummeling anybody in sight, including security personnel.
A source told SaharaReporters that the young man (whose name was not released) who was rushed to the Accident and Emergency Department of LUTH on Thursday was stabbed during a fight in the Mushin area of Lagos. He added that the nurses at the hospital demanded the patient’s family pay N50, 000 before he could be treated. As the distraught family pleaded with the medical staff, the young man died, triggering the family’s furious attack on workers on duty at the hospital.
A LUTH staff who witnessed the attack told our correspondent that the young man who died was rushed to the hospital bleeding, admitting that those who brought him watched helplessly as the groaning young man breathed his last.
“The boy was rushed to the emergency but was transferred to the Private Public Partnership (PPP) emergency building. The people that brought the boy were asked to lay the boy on the floor and directed to pay an advance fee of N50, 000 before he could be admitted for treatment. Some of his people went to look for money while those who stayed with the boy had to watch him die because they could not do anything and the nurses on duty refused to admit the boy for treatment despite the plea of the people,” the LUTH employee said, asking for anonymity.
The second incident, which happened in the early hours of Friday, was even more heated as besieged doctors and nurses took to their heels to escape the boiling anger of a patient’s family.
“On confirming that the person they rushed to the LUTH was dead, those who brought the patient launched an attack on staff. Some of the attackers used machetes to threaten staff. They beat the security [personnel], doctors and nurses. Some of the doctors and nurses had to take off their gown and run far from the building,” an eyewitness at the hospital, the relative of another patient disclosed.
A doctor at LUTH blamed the hospital’s management for the crisis at the hospital. According to him, the selfish interests of the administrators at the teaching hospital accounted for the incessant death of patients and emergency victims rushed to the hospital.
“It is a pathetic situation because the people at the helm of affairs at LUTH have opted to turn LUTH into an institution for making money. They are focused on making money and not concerned about people’s lives. A hospital is a place where lives should be saved, but LUTH has been known to be a place where 80% of patients that go in don’t come out alive and that is very pathetic,” the doctor, a surgeon, said.
A source told our correspondent that, after the two latest attacks, the staff of the Accident and Emergency unit demanded that the building be locked until the management implemented security measures to safeguard their lives and property. He said the staff would insist that the management at LUTH deploy more security operatives to the unit.