Photo Credit: Atty. G Alphonso W. Woiwor
Coronavirus outbreak is said to be worsening condition of the already poor health facilities in Liberia-with patients with other curable sicknesses or diseases being turned down by hospitals and clinics on a daily basis due to fear of contracting the pandemic. Staff and management of some of these local health facilities are nowadays carefully selecting who to attend to, depending on the condition of the patient. In other instances, they have no option but to refuse patient because most of them complaint of lacking Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) even though the Hippocratic oath of the medical profession compels Nurses or Doctors to protect lives.
Bridge Radio through its Monrovia Correspondent has reliably learned that Benson Hospital and Montserrado Health Center on Duport Road have both rejected an accident patient brought in by one Atty. G Alphonso W. Woiwor.
The accident occurred around Careysburg on the Monrovia-Gbarnga Highway on Monday, March 23, 2020, where a motorcycle collided with a Lorry Truck causing instant death to the motorcycle rider-leaving the passenger with serious injuries.
According to Atty. Woiwor, he was returning to Monrovia from Gbarnga when he met the helpless body of the accident victim lying on the ground. While on the scene, he said, police asked him to convey the victims to a nearby health center, a request he accepted.
According to him, their first stop was Benson Hospital at 11:30pm. But Nurses on shift refused to take in the “critically” injured patient “Upon arrival at Benson Hospital, the Nurses and health workers refused us and became aggressive and insulting, when we reported that we had a critical accident patient to drop at their facility”, Woiwor lamented in an interview with Bridge Radio.
He said, anger from the Nurses even grew more when he and his colleague onboard the vehicle demanded attention after waiting for 35 minutes without any sign of help. During exchanges, he said the Nurses told him they were not responsible for the accident; therefore they won’t take the patient in, adding, they ordered the security to close the gate.
“We are not responsible for the accident, we will not take this man in. In fact security please shut the gate. Take our complain anywhere, but we are not going to take anybody in”, he narrated his ordeal with the Nurses.
All this while, Atty. Woiwor said blood was oozing from what appeared to be the broken jaws, nose and face of the accident victim who, according to him was gradually losing his life.
When they could not succeed in convincing Nurses at Benson Hospital to attend to the patient, they proceeded to Montserrado Health Center on Duport Road. Unfortunately for them, medical staff at the Montserrado Health Center also refused to grant them entry into the compound of the health facility.
When he asked why they won’t let them in with the patient? Staff of the health center said, they owed him no explanation. He explained that despite pleading with them that the situation was an emergency one, they refused to attend to them. “I cannot allow you in with this patient, my dear, no, I am sorry! Atty. Woiwor quotes the health center’s security Guide as saying.
He said the situation compelled him to force his way into the compound of the health facility, where he met one of the Nurses who responded to them by promising to get a more suitable person to attend to the patient or call the ambulance. Shortly after promising them, Atty. Woiwor said, he was shocked to see the Nurse retuned with a message that they could not take them in as promised.
“We were forced to take the patient to JFK Hospital, where were made to wait for 15-20 minutes before Nurses could respond to us”, he further explained. However, while at JFK, Woiwor reported that they were subjected to serious scrutiny of whether patient was coughing, had cold, red eyes or fever, leaking nose, etc before taking in the patient.
On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Bridge Radio visited the two health facilities to confirm the report, but was informed that the Administrators of the two health facilities were out of office. When the Receptionist at Benson Hospital was asked for the contact number of the Administrator, he said he did not have the contact number of his boss. At the same time, a Nurse at the Montserrado Health Center speaking on condition of anonymity said, those who were on shift that night might have refused the patient because of his critical condition which she believes was beyond their control. She also said, the Health Center also lack essential medical materials to cater to certain level of injuries.