By Sammy Ogun
A 10-year-boy, Master Prince Emeghene Idiovwa, has been allegedly incarcerated by Syracuse Hospital, Warri, in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, for over a year now for the inability of the parents to pay the medical bills amounting to about #2.5 million.
In a swift reaction, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Victor Oraegbu said the patient was shot in the stomach sometime last year by Vigilante in Usieffurun, Udu Local Government Area and rushed to his hospital, saying it took the grace of God for the boy to be resuscitated without his parents paying a dime.
He said the parents have refused to pay the medical bills to the hospital till date.
According to him, “it appears the hospital management has done wrong to have saved the life of the 10-year old boy.”
He added: “The matter has been reported to the police and the child has been handed over to the police.”
Contrary to Dr. Victor Oraegbu’s claim, the mother of the boy, Mrs. Tina IIdiowa said in telephone conversation that she paid Dr. Victor Oregbo the sum of #500,000 to the hospital which Dr. Victor Oraegbu accepted just as she went back to pay another #400,000 to the hospital management but Dr Victor Oraegbu refused to take the money saying the balance must be paid in full.
She said: “It is not true, I did not abandon my child; it is Dr. Victor Araegbo that refused to accept the other part of the money given to him.”
She used this medium to call on well meaning Nigerians, the state and federal government to help her get her child.
In a swift reaction, in a letter to the Inspector General of Police IGP) which forms part of press release by the Committee for the Defense of Human Right signed by the State Secretary, Comrade Jonathan Giama and made available to journalists, said it is unlawful for the hospital management to have kept the boy in captivity since June 2019 last year under the guise of not being paid, saying all what the hospital would have done was to fill a suit in court of law against the parents since according to the hospital management, the boy has been discharged because he is well.
CDHR said such imprisonment and incarceration is a gross violation of Chapter IV and section 35 (1) of 1999 constitution (as amended).
He said: “The accumulation of unpaid hospital bills are issues of filling a claim in a court of law but issue of unlawful incarceration is not good.”