A private facility, Unique Health Medical Center, Warri, Delta State, has been accused of confiscating a newborn for a bill of N383,500.
PUNCH Subway deduced that a woman, Ms. Akpesiri Ojiko, gave birth to twins on November 17, 2022 at Warri General Hospital.
It was learned that one of the babies was taken to the private hospital due to lack of space for beds in the general hospital.
Ms. Ojiko appealed to the Delta State government and well-meaning Nigerians to help her family pay her medical bill.
She said: “I gave birth to two babies on 17th November 2022 – a male and a female – at the General Hospital, Warri, but we were told by hospital management that they did not have space for beds to accommodate the babies and would not they could keep the two babies in one bed.
“They started calling some clinics for referrals, but we refused because we knew some of those clinics; we told them they were expensive and we couldn’t pay their bills.
“Finally we were referred to Unique Health Medical Center and we had no choice but to go. The baby was to be discharged on November 27, 2022. But since we couldn’t pay the bill, the hospital confiscated my baby.
“The bill is N433,500 before my sister brought N50,000. We need to pay the balance of N383,500 for my baby to be discharged.
“My baby is about a month and a few weeks old; I haven’t laid eyes on her for a month; They don’t even let me see it. Please, I beg Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and others to help me.”
The babies’ father, Mr. Destiny Ojiko, a Keke trader, was said to have fled after seeing the N433,500 bill, but later reappeared.
The hospital owner, who asked not to be named, accused the family of abandoning the baby at the hospital.
He said: “We treated the baby on humanitarian grounds. We asked them to deposit N100,000 after all; they brought N50,000 as a deposit and we didn’t care.
“Our concern was to save the baby’s life, which we have done.
“The baby was on oxygen for 10 days because she was born premature. “As I speak, we do not have the father’s contact; the number she filled in was someone else’s. We have been calling them to come and talk about how to discharge the baby, we have not seen them.