By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor
The family of 41-year-old, Adebayo Akinwunmi, who reportedly died last week in Lagos from gunshot wounds from armed robbers, is on a collision course with Reddington Hospital after alleging that the hospital insisted on a police report before treating the victim.
Family demands apology from hospital
Elder brother of the victim, Babatunde Akinwunmi, a chief scientific officer with Lagos State government told Vanguard on phone that the family was shocked to see a report by the hospital twisting the whole story.
He stated that they were giving the hospital two conditions which they must fulfil, failure of which the family will come out publicly to tell the world what happened at the hospital.
He said: “I demand that the hospital should accept responsibility for my brother’s death by writing a letter of apology to the family and issuing a press statement correcting all the lies they are feeding the world.
“Failure to do this, our family will issue a statement detailing what happened and seek redress. If they apologise with an official letter and issue an official statement, we will allow sleeping dogs lie, after all, nothing will bring my brother back to life again. But we would not like hospitals to continue doing this to Nigerians.”
How my brother died— Akinwunmi
Giving details of how his brother was shot by armed robbers in his house at Ofada-Mokoloki, Ogun State, the elder Akinwunmi told Vanguard: “His wife called me around 1.30 am that day that my brother was shot by armed robbers. I raced to the scene to see him in a pool of his blood. We quickly rushed him to Reddington Hospital in Lagos where his office maintains a retainer ship.
“When we got to the hospital, we were ushered into their reception. While we were appealing for urgent treatment, the nurses were just lazily walking around without treating him. Our pleas for urgent treatment were rebuffed as they loudly demanded that we should present a police report before they will treat my brother, who was losing a lot of blood through the gaping bullet wound on his shoulder pad.
“When we continued to plead, reminding them that my brother’s company has a retainership with the hospital, one of the nurses simply told us that there was no doctor on duty even if they change their mind and they referred us to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja.
“At that stage, we decided to rush him to LASUTH but when we got there, he was pronounced dead by doctors.
“Sadly, while we were on our way to the hospital, my brother who was losing blood kept on urging us to rush him to his hospital, Redington, assuring that they will save him but the same hospital ignored him because we could not show a police report immediately.
“That was how my brother, who won an award last year as the best staff in Ericsson, the communication company, where he worked and was sent on an all-expense paid trip with his wife to the USA, gave up the ghost.”
We don’t demand police reports to treat gunshot victims—Reddington Hospital
However, Reddington Hospital, weekend, said in a statement that it does not demand police report or any other report before attending to gunshot victims in any of its hospitals capable of handling such cases.
The statement signed by Group Medical Director, Dr. Olatunde Lalude, the hospital maintained that it was established primarily to save lives and provide health care to those in need and it would be against the objectives of the founders to reject any patient except where the hospital feels that such a case would be better handled elsewhere and would be appropriately referred.
Lalude said investigations carried out by the hospital in the case of the victim, Adebayo Akinwunmi, showed that he could not be attended to because the branch does not have the capacity in terms of personnel and equipment to attend to such a case.
According to him, “the doctor directed the driver to take them to LASUTH which has both an intensive care and a cardiothoracic unit. Critically, at that time of the day (after 2 am) LASUTH is approximately five minutes drive from the Reddington Hospital. It would have endangered his life further if an attempt had been made to delay things by taking him into the Reddington Hospital for stabilisation.”
Police sets up special team to probe allegation
Meanwhile, police sources intimated Vanguard that the authorities in Lagos have concluded plans to set up a special team of detectives with marching orders to fish out the hospital that flout the 2017 Act on ‘Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshot.
It was gathered that the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, who was visibly angry over claims by the family of Adebayo Akinwunmi that Reddington Hospital demanded police report before treatment, has vowed to carry out a thorough investigation over the case with a promise to apply the rules of the law against the hospital if found guilty.
CP Edgal also directed all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers to henceforth, arrest and diligently prosecute any medical practitioner, who rejects a gunshot victim on the ground of no police report.
He said the Act recommends a five-year jail term for any person, hospital or authority who omits to do his/its bit, which results in the unnecessary death of any person with bullet wounds.