The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has been rejecting patients, especially those requiring critical attention, including surgery, which has led to deaths and complaints from both patients and doctors.
This is mostly because of the lack of power supply through out Calabar and surrounding towns for about two months now and the facility’s inability to afford the high cost of diesel to power its electricity plants round the clock. This has greatly affected the efficiency of the hospital, causing their inability to see patients.
While patients who can afford it have moved out to private medical facilities, others are writhing in pain, calling on authorities to restore power to avert too many casualties and deaths.
Patient’s relatives have lamented this situation and appealed to the hospital and the government for help.
One of the relatives, Akiba Ekpenyong, a native of Odukpani LG council said, “in worst threatening scenery, surgery is being postponed as a result of the fact that some of these patients cannot afford surgeries at private hospitals.
“My patient has been booked for major surgery more than three times. But each time the excuse has always been that they can not proceed with the surgery because of lack of power.”
Ekpenyong advised the hospital to think out of the box, stressing that the lives of patients are at stake.
He said what he witnessed on Friday was not palatable.
Reacting, the Public Relations Officer at the hospital, Roseline Ikpeme in a comment to Akiba’s complaint on his Facebook page, said, “We regulate power supply in laboratories, clinics, theatres etc from 9am to 2pm just like every institution does this period in Calabar. But in all wards, we supply light from 9am-3pm and 7pm to 12 midnight”.
Calls to the Chief Medical Director, Prof Ikpeme Ikpeme were not responded to.