Management of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) on Wednesday said it waived about N84 million in medical fees for patients admitted to the hospital in 2021.
Briefing journalists ahead of the third hospital’s 50th anniversary scheduled for May 12, 2022, Darlington Obaseki, the Chief Medical Officer of UBTH, lamented the increasing availability of medical care, saying the hospital provides highly subsidized services.
“Our people cannot pay for medical services. In 2021, we provided medical care of N84 million which was denied. Currently, it is more than that. I am sure this year we gave up about N100m. The sustainability of our services is weakened because people cannot afford them. Most of the patients in Benin access services here and our staff are overburdened but people are not paying,” Obaseki said.
Therefore, he spoke about the need to integrate and make the people, especially the indigent patients, a part of the health insurance scheme so that hospitals like UBTH are not crowded.
According to him, “the most complaints about UBTH are not related to the quality of the services they receive, but to the cost of treatment. So, our problem now is that our people are poor and we cannot avoid it.
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“Our people cannot afford so much. So many of our citizens cannot even eat. Our emergency services are independent of patient fees. So, whether you have money or not, we start treatment. But many people abuse it. After days of stabilization, we devote all our resources to their management.
“Our plan has always been to give us back the money to cover your medical expenses. We need to change the equipment for the next patient. UBTH is not a profit-making organization, we provide social services. We are not interested in making money; the government asked us to continue our services, not to make money.
Speaking on the theme of the golden jubilee celebration, ‘Developing a legacy of quality healthcare’, he said the theme stems from the need to consolidate the achievements of the founding fathers by improving the hospital’s infrastructure and introducing more medical services. specialized services.
“In the last 49 years, we have come a long way and achieved a lot in this evolutionary journey. The successes and heights we have achieved as a teaching hospital are due to the foresight and hard work of our founding fathers and heroes in the past. They laid a solid foundation for us, upon which all of us who came after them built.
“We want to change the fundamental infrastructure of our structures and equipment. We want to focus on cardiovascular and comprehensive cancer care. Cancer is a silent epidemic in Nigeria. The distress families are facing is unimaginable.
“We want to achieve our sustainability. To continue excellence as a training and continuous learning center for the health workforce in West Africa, and we are already doing this by training staff. We want to be the destination of choice for quality healthcare solutions in West Africa and be strategically positioned for markets,” he said.