Police, human right activists rescue patients from Nnewi hospital

ISAAC OJO reports that there was drama in the industrial town of Nnewi, Anambra State when a combined team of police officers drawn from Nnewi Area Command office and Human Rights Volunteer Corps (HRVC) battled the management of Somto Specialists Hospital, Uruagu-Nnewi to rescue patients who are allegedly detained by the hospital for their inability to pick their medical bills.

The Human Rights Volunteer Corps was led on the res­cue mission by its founder, Mr Larry Ogue­go, Barr Henry Chibuike Ugwu and Barr Johnmary Akachukwu Maduakolam stormed the hospital with some of their members but got locked in the process. It was the policemen that accompanied them who later forced the doors open so that the human rights activists and the al­legedly detained patients can regain their freedom.

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How it Happened?

Barr Maduakolam said that his group had earlier rescued a young girl who gave birth at Divine Grace Hospital, Abak­pa Enugu in Enugu state and was detained for one year and four months before the intervention of his group. He said the proprietor of the hospital is currently standing trial for unlawful deprivation of liberty at the Magistrate Court Enugu. Barr Maduakolam said that HRVC rescued sev­en nursing mothers at the Nnewi hospital who were equally detained because of their failure to complete payment of medical fees.

The human right activist said medical practitioners are entitled to the lawful fees but has no powers to detain any human being who has failed to pay any such fee. In a sharp response to the invasion of his hospital, Dr Ogochukwu Ozuafor said that many of the patients came to the hospital on referrals and were sometimes unconscious when they are brought in. He said that the manage­ment of the hospital in line with the ethics of saving life first attend to and give medi­cal services to the patients and talk about money later.

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