By Doris Obinna
Health Emergency Initiative (HEI) Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Dr. Ndi Onuekwus, has disclosed that about 135 indigent patients have benefitted from the HEI initiative.
The project tagged: “None should die,” is in collaboration with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS) and some selected public hospitals in Lagos, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri.
Addressing newsmen, the BoT Chairman, Onuekwusi, said beneficiaries of the initiative, recently launched, were in two categories, including indigent patients who could not buy or afford the cheapest healthcare for as low as N2000 and accident victims in critical condition, who rescued by FRSC officials and stabilised by the selected public hospitals within the state were assisted to the tune of N20,000 (maximum), at the expense of HEI.
Onuekwusi lamented the poor state of health care system in the country, saying: “We are all entitled to health care whether rich or poor but unfortunately, what are obtained in the country are hotel services.
“We do not expect the government to pay for all our health care services because of the insurance policy on ground. However, what do we do with those who are unemployed and lack appropriate health care?
“The idea of HEI, however, is to stand in the gap for the poorest segment of the society enabling them to obtain life-saving medical care in public hospitals.
“It may surprise you to learn that many Nigerians die due to inability to pay medical bills as low as N2000. HEI also assist patients successfully treated but unable to pay their bills and remain in the hospitals (medical detention). HEI has in the short time of its existence, since 2016, intervened to save the life of over 135 patients.
“Over 90 percent of the interventions are N20,000 and below in view of limited resources and to ensure a wider coverage, while presently working on signing memorandum of understanding (MoU) with some general hospitals,” he said.