• Govt denies hiking childbirth fees
Bamigbola Gbolagunte Akure
Pregnant women in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday protested what they described as outrageous medical bill at the state Specialist Hospital, Akure.
The protesters complained that the hospital and other government-owned hospitals now charge N25,000 for delivery, while Caesarian Session goes for N50,000 in the hospitals.
Some pregnant women, who spoke with newsmen alleged that other unjustified charges, ranging from N500 to N4,000, were being collected by the hospital’s officials.
They appealed to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to reverse the charges and also call health officials in the state to order.
The expectant mothers numbering about 150 disrupted operations at the ante-natal section of the hospital while the protest lasted.
Pregnant women and their children below five years enjoyed free medical services under previous administration of former governor Olusegun Mimiko.
Also, residents of the four local government areas of Akoko division, who visited the State Specialist Hospital in Ikare-Akoko yesterday, lamented what they also described as outrageous medical bill.
Daily Sun gathered that the list of the new bill was posted openly in all departments and wards in the hospital.
It was learnt that the charges for caesarian operation had gone up by 100 percent, while emergency department and children wards were not spared.
One of the protesters, who identified herself as Adebayo, told newsmen that the ‘outrageous medical bill’ has forced most of them to resort to traditional midwives and private hospitals.
Meanwhile, the state government has denied hiking childbirth fees.
Commissioner for Health, Wahaab Adegbenro, while reacting to yesterday’s protest said the women were misled.
“I have addressed them personally. I went there to address them and allay their fears.
“It was a false rumour. Somebody was just trying to be funny somewhere; the information was not correct, we are yet to increase any fee,” he told newsmen.