From Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin
Patients at the Edo State Central Hospital, yesterday shut the gates of the hospital to protest robbery attack on the facility.
It was gathered that their action prevented out-patients and staff from accessing the hospital for close to an hour.
It was learnt that the protesters, who were women, overpowered the only security guard at the gate who attempted to stop them.
Spokesperson of the protesters, Loveth Ogenekaro, said the protest was to register their grievances over what she described as incessant robbery incidents in the hospital.
She said: “Last Sunday at about 1:00am, armed robbers, through the ceiling, entered the maternity ward and robbed a patient’s relation of N100,000 and three phones.
“This is not the first time of robbery attack in the hospital. Last week, patients, at the accident and emergency ward, were also robbed and the management is not doing anything about it.”
According to her, after the attack, they briefed the hospital management of the development but nothing was done, stressing that the management only came to the ward to assess the situation without addressing the patients who were traumatised by the incident.
“The money was meant to settle the hospital bill of the patient who delivered at the hospital. I was the one who borrowed her N5,000 to buy drugs,” she said.
She, however, attributed the development to poor security situation in the hospital.
Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Philip Ugbodaga, assured the protesters that adequate security would be provided.
“When the incident happened, I reported the matter to the police and our security guards were able to get one of the robbers and was handed over to the police. We have requested for police presence at night,” he said.
He said they believed the robbery was done in collaboration with an insider because when they entered the ward, they did not even ask for the money, but went straight to where the money was kept to pick it up.
Reacting to the development, Director, Hospital Services and Chief Executive Hospital Management Board, Chris Obaseki, described the development as unfortunate, saying hospital is a place that patients seek for treatment.
He said the management was doing its best to provide adequate security in the hospital.