The management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, have debunked allegations of negligence and bribery made by an aggrieved Nigerian who lost a brother to COVID- 19 complications.
The allegations were contained in a video, now viral, posted on Judespeakztv by a bearded man, obviously a Nigerian living in the UK.
He made a number of allegations bordering on alleged negligence by doctors, filthy environment, delay in attending to patient and exorbitant charges by LUTH operatives.
The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee at LUTH, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo offered the following explanations:
“The attention of LUTH Management has been drawn to an Instagram video clip of an unnamed man (on Judespeakztv) accusing LUTH and several members of our Medical Teams of negligence and corrupt practices. LUTH Management has spent the past 24 hours investigating these allegations and found them to be unfounded, crude, malicious and uninformed.
“The accuser already went public with details of his deceased brother’s medical history and the Hospital is therefore compelled to clarify the information already misrepresented in the public domain.
“Please find below the true record of events:
Mr. Ukato Dennis was a 38-year old gentleman who came to Nigeria from Italy a few weeks ago and was on his way to the MM Airport to embark on his return journey to Italy when he developed an acute ischaemic (cardio-embolic) stroke on May 12, 2021. The stroke was apparently caused by a longstanding underlying heart condition for which he had reportedly undergone surgery in Europe.
“His condition was also complicated by recurrent convulsions (from a previous stroke) and abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation) against the background of residual neurological deficits from a previous stroke.
“Although he was rejected at many hospitals where he had been rushed for emergency help, Mr Ukato was admitted into LUTH’s Private Wing.
Within 48 hours of hospitalization, his condition further deteriorated with development of an acute respiratory syndrome for which an urgent chest CT-scan was necessitated. The CT findings were consistent with and highly suggestive of an Atypical Pneumonia due to COVID-19 infection. Based on the current community transmission of COVID-19, the patient’s travel history, comorbidities and the consistency of the radio-diagnostic evaluations, the sudden Oxygen desaturation was deemed entirely plausibly due to COVID-19.
“In the interim and while LUTH Medical Team provided supportive care, his deterioration required for him to be transferred to an Intensive Care Unit with facilities to accommodate suspected COVID-19 cases while arrangements were also made for sampling to confirm the Covid-19 status with PCR test.
“At the time however, the Hospital’s ICU was at full capacity. This was communicated to the relatives on ground. The relations were also regularly updated by the multi-specialty team (Anaesthetists, Neurologists, Infectious Disease Unit, Cardiologist, Radiologist etc) and apprised of new developments.
“Unfortunately, the patient passed on while arrangements were being made by the relations to secure ICU bedspace at other centres outside of LUTH. At no time was the patient’s ongoing care abandoned as insinuated in the malicious and mischievous video.
“Furthermore, it is unconscionable that the individual raised accusations of bribery against the Chief Medical Director who has never met the patient, his relations on ground and the accuser in diaspora. It is also noteworthy that 3 of the 5 doctors mentioned in the video are Radiologists, and the only offence they committed was to have done their jobs credibly (signed the CT scan report).
“Even the accuser attested to the patient having been rejected at several hospitals prior to presentation in and acceptance by LUTH specialists who stepped in and provided expert care to the severely ill young man.
“As committed Medical Practitioners, we are pained at the death of any patient. Mr Ukato’s demise was in spite of the care we gave him and not due to negligence on our part. His demise was a consequence of the progressive deterioration in his heart/lung functions, severity of several other comorbidities which led to his admission. It is also important to note that at no time during the time the deceased was in LUTH did his wife or relatives express any reservation about the care given to him.
“The channels of communication were cordially maintained between the team of Doctors and the wife plus at least two individuals who presented themselves as brothers of the deceased.
“LUTH prides itself in the professionalism and empathy of our staff at all times and, especially, in this particular instance where our staff went beyond the call of duty while the ill-informed accuser made uncharitable video in Europe. The narratives of the man in the video are starkly at variance with reality and we cannot but wonder what his intentions could possibly be.
“We therefore thank the numerous well-wishers who have expressed their solidarity with LUTH. Nigerian doctors are some of the best in the world and many who stayed back are gladly serving our country and always championing the cause of excellence in medical care for all.
“LUTH is proud of our staff who work diligently everyday to give succor to Nigerians. We do not take bribes and we stay above board in the discharge of our duties.
“Lastly, we have reported this case to the police for further investigations of the bribery allegation and LUTH Management has asked that there should be a Coroner’s inquest on the case to clarify the man’s unfounded and wicked allegations.”