A sickle cell patient, Miss Onyinye Ezeanyika detained in a mission hospital in Onitsha, Anambra State, South east Nigeria, for being unable to pay N1.2m hospital bill has reportedly died.
Our correspondent gathered that Onyinye died in the early hours of last Monday.
A source in the hospital said, “Onyinye was detained for one year and six months by the hospital management after she and her family were unable to pay the sum of N1.2m billed her.
Speaking, the national coordinator of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder, Aisha Edward, said “Onyinye passed on at the hospital where she was held hostage by the management.”
She added, “I had given her some cash before for part installment of the bill and even advised her to escape from the hospital.“But when the hospital found out she had visited me, they threatened her and instilled fear in her.
“She revealed to her that the hospital intended to keep her until Christmas, when philanthropists would come to redeem the bills of indigent patients in the hospital. So you can see the motive behind her being detained by the hospital.”
Edward said she was pained by the fact that the hospital involved was a mission hospital.
She said sickle cell patients were being used by hospitals to make money by charging them exorbitantly with the hope that philanthropists and other organizations would come to redeem the bills.