Lack Of Medical Supplies Forces LUTH To Postpone Surgeries
Patients who have been scheduled for various surgeries at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, have expressed their displeasure at the hospital’s management.
Those who spoke with our correspondent on Monday complained that their surgical operations were cancelled because the hospital had run out of some essential medical supplies and consumables.
An aggrieved patient, who spoke to our correspondent on Monday, said this was the third time that her surgery would be postponed in the last two months when she was admitted to the Ward C1 unit of the hospital.
She said, “The first time I was to be operated upon, they cancelled it because doctors were on strike. The second time, I was told that the machine had not been washed. Now they are saying they don’t have consummables.
“This is a surgery I have paid for since last year. I am tired and I don’t know when they will perform the operation.”
A cancer patient, who lamented that it was the second that her surgery would be postponed, feared that her condition would have worsened by the time she was rescheduled for a breast removal surgery.
She said, “The first time, I was told that they could not do the operation because their radiotherapy machine, which I am supposed to use after the surgery, was not working. This time , they are saying they don’t have some medical supplies.
“The cancer is spreading and my doctor says I need to be operated on as quickly as possible. If not, I may not survive. Are we saying people should die because the hospital does not have a N500 surgical face mask?”
Doctors, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity for fear of being sanctioned by the hospital’s management on Monday, decried the slow pace of services at the tertiary hospital in the past two months.
According to one of them, there is no reason why LUTH should be postponing surgeries this time as patients have paid for this procedure and doctors are available to attend to the patients.
He said,“ Surgeries were cancelled last week because there were no surgical face masks and jackets to wear during surgery. Let’s not forget that these are elective surgeries not emergencies. It means that they have been paid for and the hospital has had enough time to prepare for them.
“It is also a frequent occurrence in this hospital. That is why we are worried because patients are really suffering. Many have travelled as far as Plateau State to Lagos and they are now stranded.”
Another doctor at the hospital told our correspondent that the dialysis centre at the tertiary hospital had not been functioning optimally in the last one year due to the lack of consumables needed to run the procedure.
According to him, most patients that come to the centre for treatment are often referred to other facilities in the state.
He said, “We don’t have to wait till the system collapses to cry because things are getting worse. The excuse that there is no money can no longer be tolerated because the hospital generates money and also receives budgetary allocations from government.”
When contacted on Tuesday, LUTH’s Public Relations Officer, Mr.Kelechi Otuneme, however, said that the hospital had not run out of medical supplies and there was no official announcement that surgeries were postponed.
He said, “There are many reasons why surgeries are postponed and it is usually on a case by case basis, not for all patients. If the consultant feels that a patient is not stable enough to go through a procedure, he or she may decide that it is best to shift it for a later date to ensure that the operation is successful. I will, however, investigate these claims.”
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