Dispute over N1.3m bill: Hospital seizes corpse of housewife for eight months

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    By Vincent Ujumadu

    Anambra State Police Command and the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, are trying to unravel the circumstances surrounding the refusal of the director of an in Ozubulu to release the body of a patient, Mrs. Evan Anajemba, who died in the hospital in November 2016 eight months ago), for burial.

    The director, who had allegedly received N252,000 from the husband of the deceased, Mr. Godwin Anajemba, while the woman was on admission in the hospital, allegedly demanded additional N1.368 million after the woman gave up the ghost. Anajemba told Sunday Vanguard that when all efforts to persuade the director to release the body of his wife to him failed, he consulted a lawyer and also reported the matter to the Anambra State Police Command, which has been mediating. He also reached out to the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, pleading with it to prevail on the doctor to release the body of his wife.

    A lawyer, Dr. E.E. Egbunonu, petitioned the state Commissioner of Police and the NMA on behalf of Anajemba, alleging that negligence on the part of the director killed the woman. The petition followed the refusal of the hospital director to act on a letter written to him by the lawyer in which he threatened to take legal action against him.  Egbuonu said: “Mrs. Anajemba was a patient in the hospital for purpose of correcting a fibroid operation at an agreed total bill of N252,000 out of which a deposit of N140,000 was demanded and paid. “The said doctor went on to operate the deceased and, in the process, she gave up the ghost as a result of the negligent conduct of the doctor, who, at the heat of his mistake, gave the deceased 15 pints of blood at an additional cost of N16,500 per pint.

    “He also, without the consent of her husband, removed the womb of the deceased. Instead of feeling remorse for causing the avoidable death of the deceased, the medical director veered off from the agreed bill of N252,000 and wrote another bill of N1,368,850.

    “He also refused to release the corpse of the deceased to her husband. Narrating his ordeal to Sunday Vanguard, the husband of the deceased, Anajemba, said: “My plea now is that the doctor should release the corpse to me for burial. If that woman is not buried, I will not have rest of mind.”

    Though the police had invited the two parties for a meeting, the hospital director failed to turn up and the body of Mrs. Anajemba has continued to lie at the mortuary for the past eight months.

    Efforts to speak with the hospital director failed as aides said he would not like to speak with any reporter.



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