CEM REPORT | The University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, amidst several controversies, has said it has withdrawn the directive to charge admitted patients, N1,000 daily electricity fee.
The hospital claims that the directive which it issued to take immediate effect was never implemented by the hospital.
The hospital in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Toye Akinrinola, assured the public of continuous healthcare delivery to Nigerians irrespective of status.
“The attention of the Management of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, has been drawn to a publication in all sections of the media alleging that the hospital is charging N1,000.00 per patient daily for electricity.
“The hospital wishes to state that the memo being referred to was an internal memo which we did not implement after a thorough review from internal mechanisms for such issues and has since been withdrawn. At no point did the hospital charge electricity fee.
“The management of the hospital is not oblivious of the fact that the said publication could have a negative effect on our patients, we are assuring the public that we shall continue to deliver effective and efficient healthcare to Nigerians irrespective of status.” Premium Times quote.
Recently, UCH in a memo to admitted patients noted the addition of mandatory payment of utility fee of N1,000.00 (one thousand naira only) daily added that the directive would take immediate effect.
The statement according to Premium Times reads:
“Following the recurring power outage in the hospital, high cost of electricity tariff and inflation in the price of diesel which have impeded stable power supply, management has decided to consider measures that can help to facilitate flawless service delivery in the hospital.
“To this end, I write to convey the management’s approval for the mandatory payment of utility fee of N1,000.00 (one thousand naira only) daily by every patient accessing care in this hospital.
“You are requested to kindly implement the approval with immediate effect.”
Furthermore, Premium Times reports that an official at the works department, explained that the hospital is currently running on “a huge loss” and had to improvise by adding the N1,000 to patients’ service charge.
The source added that the hospital receives between N50 and N60 million in electricity bills every month from the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) adding that the hospital often experience power outage, and would have to run on generators for hours as the emergency unit cannot afford a extended period of blackout.
“We receive between N50 and N60 million naira every month here and this is not a corporate organisation, we are serving humanity. So because we cannot maintain such a bill, we had to look for ways of sustainability,” the source said.
“The more power we have, the higher the bill.”
A non-clinical staff member, who also requested anonymity, confirmed that patients had started paying the fees since Monday, July 4, 2022.
“Patients paid and were even complaining that after collecting N1,000 they didn’t restore the light until later in the afternoon, around 1:00 pm,”
Akinrinola confirming the state of the hospital on power said the hospital is experiencing a recurring power outage from the IBEDC and had to run generators for hours.
“We need diesel. Nigerians should focus on helping us rather than castigating us over the N1,000 electricity fee.
“IBEDC is also having internal issues that are affecting us here, so we need more diesel.”