Patients at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto have expressed displeasure over the “outrageous” increase in the money charged for services.
Daily Trust gathered that some of the charges were increased by 150 percent, which was said to be scaring patients away from the hospital.
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Our investigation revealed that women attending antenatal clinics, who were paying between N4, 200 and N5, 000 for antenatal and normal delivery now pay N5, 200 and N9, 750 respectively.
Liver function test (LFT), which was N1000, rose to N2, 800 while Kidney function test is now N1, 750 as against N840 previously charged.
Urinalysis and Glucose (blood sugar level test), are now N600 and N700 as against N240 and N350 respectively.
Speaking to Daily Trust, one of the patients, Bello Muhammad, described the increment as “outrageous and inhuman”, considering the hardship in the country.
He called on the management of the hospital to reconsider its decision.
One of the staff of the hospital told our correspondent that they were losing patients because of the increment.
“The number of people coming to the hospital has reduced drastically due to the increment”, he said
The staff, who sought anonymity, said they held departmental meetings due to the incessant complaints by patients and made appropriate recommendations for the consideration of the management of the hospital.
However, the Public Relation Officer of the hospital, Buhari Abubakar Sokoto, refuted the account that patients were scared away by the new charges, saying the reduction in their number of clients was due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Abubakar noted that the hospital charged the least in the country, adding that the increment was meant to sustain and improve their services but not for profit-making.
He averred that the hospital considered the economic reality of the people of the state before increasing the fees.