The management of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin, Kwara State has seized the corpse of a deceased patient and arrested one of his sons for physically assaulting a medical doctor.
The Head, Corporate Affairs Unit (CAU) of the UITH, Mrs Elizabeth Ajiboye, confirmed the development to newsmen in Ilorin on Wednesday.
She said the corpse was seized following protest by doctors under the aegis of Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (ARD) in the hospital.
“Doctors are protesting the assault and urging the Management of the hospital against the release of the corpse without arresting and prosecuting the culprits,” Ajiboye said.
However, it was gathered, that trouble started on Tuesday when
three family members of the deceased, Alhaji Saliu, allegedly beat up a medical doctor in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Wing of the UITH following what they described as non-challant attitude of medical staff to the plight of their father.
The news of the death of their father said to be a butcher, and suffering from blood cancer, was announced at the hospital triggered the assault on the doctor.
The deceased was said to have been rushed to the facility on Tuesday after suffering complications on arrival from a business trip.
A relative of the deceased, who identified himself as Mr. Abdul, said the incident led the hospital to seize the corpse of the butcher.
“We rushed Alhaji Saliu to the emergency ward of UITH around some minutes after 5:00am on Tuesday and despite all our pleading for a doctor to attend to him, nobody obliged us.
“We were surprised to see doctors coming to attend to us several hours later after a medical personel who saw our plight confirmed he was dead.
“That infuriated the relatives and they reacted by descending on one of the doctors that came.
“Since then, they have vowed not to release the corpse unless we produce some other people that beat the doctor”, he said.
However, Ajiboye , said that the patient case was presented late with severe complications.
“The patient in question was one of such cases presented to the hospital late and with severe complications.
“Nevertheless, the health workers on duty, especially doctors swung into action but while battling with his life, he convulsed.
“He was stabilized from that stage, prompting the doctors to take over another case requiring an emergency attention.
“Three of the patient’s relations pounced on one of the doctors on duty, pinned him to the wall, and punched him severally but he managed to escape from them.
“This led to the arrest of one of patient’s relatives by the security operatives attached to the hospital.
“As at the time of this report, this person is still under the watch of the security personnel while the other two are being searched for,” She explained.
Ajiboye, urged members of the public to stop attacking health workers.
“It has now become imperative for the hospital to caution patients and their relations against any form of attack on its healthcare providers.
“We wish to remind members of the public on the roles of health workers in health Management system and the limitations of these healthcare providers in saving lives, especially when the cases before them are presented late.
“Just as these workers had sworn to protect the lives of their patients, their own lives should not be endangered.
“Therefore, the Management through the law enforcement agents has resolved to henceforth commence the arrest and prosecution of anyone irrespective of their status, threatening the lives of any of the workers of UITH in the course of their duties.
“Legal action will also henceforth be taken against such unruly relatives of our patients.
“We are at the same time, pledging our unalloyed commitment to continually save lives and make health care accessible to our law abiding clients,” She said.