By Ola Ajayi
FOLLOWING complaints by thousands of patients that patronize the University College Hospital, Ibadan about the recent increase in all its fees, the teaching hospital explained that the hike was not to punish the masses. The hospital, last week, announced an upward review in the admission, feeding, laboratory, X-ray fees and others by 50 per cent.
The admission fee rose from N300 per day to N1,000, and feeding fees from N450 to N600. Due to the increase, some patients had to return home for not having enough money on them.
The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Dr. Adeniyi Adenipekun, gave reason that the fee hike was aimed at sustaining quality services.
Corroborating his explanation while addressing newsmen yesterday, the new Chief Information Officer and Head, Public Relations Department, Mr. Toye Akinrinlola said despite the marginal increase, the new fees are still the cheapest when compared with other teaching hospitals in the country.
According to him, the hike in fees could not in anyway be compared with the quality services that the hospital offer. He added that the renal surgery successfully done cost the hospital over N12million and it was done free of charge.
Apart from this, he pointed out further that due to the epileptic power supply by the PHCN, the hospital pays heavily every month for the fuel it uses to power the generators in virtually all the departments.
He said, â€œwe spend so much on diesel. We spend about N6m on diesel every month to power our generators. If there is little or marginal increase in our fees, it is to serve Nigerians betterâ€.
â€œWith this marginal increase, UCH fees are still the cheapest in the country. The hospital did not use the hike to punish its patients. It is just to offer better quality which we have been known forâ€, he stated.