.But Brother of dead woman says he stands by his story
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Dr. Jefia Abe,the Medical Director of Garrison Clinic in Port Harcourt where one Mrs Ijeoma Umumadumere,nee Ahamefule, with a five-month old pregnancy was allegedly refused treatment because she could not pay N20,000,and later died in another hospital, has posted a stout denial.
Jefia who spoke to P.M.NEWS today in his bungalow hospital at Udom Street,beside the defunct NITEL, claimed that the brother of the deceased, Uzuoma Ahamefule, who originatedallegations against him and the hospital on the internet from his base in Austria had apologised for the misinformation that has gone viral. Uzuoma has denied offering any apology. On the contrary, he said Dr. Jefia has been begging him to cease further dissemination of her sister’s tragedy.
The doctor said he is weighing the option of legal action for what he called “obvious lies.”
“He, Uzuoma, has apologised to me on phone after knowing the truth about what actually transpired when his sister was rushed to my clinic by her husband with Five months pregnancy with what we call pre-eclampsia. She was tested and we found glucose and protein in blood. Her blood pressure was 240/120.”
He said that contrary to the allegations of Uzuoma, he attended to her when the husband rushed her in. He directed that her blood pressure be read and was alarmed to find out that her blood pressure was 240/120 mmhg, which was on the high side.
The Medical Director said he ordered the nurse on duty to admit her so that they could commence treatment immediately. A bed was prepared for her in Ward 2.
According to the Medical Director, in a bid to save her life, like it is done in the practice, we did not insist that she must register as our ante-natal patient that would have cost her N2,000,( Two thousand Naira only) before attending to her that day.
Dr.Abe Jefia, who showed our Correspondent the case file claimed that immediately the patient’s husband was informed that the woman was five months pregnant and would be placed on admission for close observation because of her medical condition, he asked to know the medical bill. And he was told that it would be N15, 000.
“The Nurse who dashed to the Pharmacy to get an injection for the patient had come with the injection to administer to her without insisting on deposit. Then she heard the patient telling her husband that they should hurry out to meet a sister who is a Nurse/Midwife that has been attending to her. They hurried out and left”.
From the case file shown to our Correspondent, a bill of N15, 000 was written as charged to the late pregnant woman, but N500( Five hundred Naira only) was paid instead of N2,000,(Two thousand Naira only).
Dr.Abe Jefia , lamented that Uzuoma Ahamefule, the brother who understandably was pained that he lost his sister out of emotions sent out damaging e-mail on the internet about his Clinic without cross-checking facts and circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident.
He said Uzuoma did not know that her sister’s death was not as a result of negligence on his part, but ignorance on the part of the bereaved and the husband.
Regrettably, according to him,some Nigerian print and online media went to town with the inaccurate story.
He said that the late Patient and the Husband took a decision of leaving his hospital because “they underestimated the life threatening situation of the pregnant woman; they had the mindset that they had a Nurse they felt could handle her case.”
He said that when he came out and asked the Nurses about the pregnant women he just diagnosed, they said she was gone. He was taken aback because with her blood pressure the life of the both the baby and the mother were at risk.
He also said that it was observed that the woman had not registered for antenatal for medical attention even at five months pregnancy.
The Medical Director said he has been inundated with calls from friends and colleagues within and outside the country because of Uzuoma’s publication.
Uzuoma’s email has also been forwarded to him.And after they spoke on phone,he claimed Uzuoma apologised.
However, he threatened that he would seek legal redress after getting legal advice from his lawyer for the damage the publications so far have done to his Clinic and career as medical doctor.
P.M.NEWS spoke with Uzuoma on telephone today and flatly denied ever apologising to the Nigerian doctor.
He said on the contrary, it was the Nigerian doctor who apologised to him over the death of his sister and begged him not to take the case further into the arena of the public.
“During one of the calls, he told me he was on his kneels. He was begging me, that the story is all over. And I told him he didn’t act professionally; when he knew that my sister could die if she was not well taken care of, with the symptoms that he himself had diagnosed”.
Uzuoma said the true story was that when his sister was diagnosed with having high blood pressure and eclampsia, the doctor left her in the clinic in the hands of the nurses for two hours, after leaving the instruction that treatment should not commence until the husband had paid N20,000.
“It was when the husband felt that the clinic would not treat her unless he produced the money, that he decided to try another hospital.”
“I stand by what I wrote about Garrison clinic and his doctor and nurses. The only error I made was in the amount my brother in law paid for the consultation and test. I said N5,000, but the amount paid was N3,000. He initially paid N1,500 and it was when he was leaving with his wife, that a nurse rushed to him to demand another N1,500 for the test, making a total of N3,000.”