About eighteen natives and non-natives indigent Abians on admission at Madonna Catholic Church Hospital, Umuahia, the state capital, who were being held at the medical facility over their inability to offset their bills have been allowed to rejoin other members of their families.
It was gathered that reprieve came their way when the 2015 and 2019 governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state, Dr. Alex Otti paid a visit to the hospital to visit his friend, one Chief Ezeji Michael Irom that was on admission at the hospital.
It was learnt that patients on admission and those who were held for their inability to pay for their hospital bills beseeched Otti and cried unto him to come to their rescue.
Otti who recently formalized his members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, was said to have had compassion on the inmates and asked the management of the hospital to send him the bills of patients that have been treated and unable to settle their hospital bills.
Some of the patients, according to information, have spent over three months in the hospital after being discharged due to their inability to offset their medical bills.
Though the sum total wasn’t mentioned, our reporter gathered that the bill of the eighteen patients run into several million.
Speaking when a representative of Otti, Chief Mike Akpara handed over a cheque covering the bills of the patients, the administrator of Madonna Catholic Hospital, Rev Fr. Anokwuru Christian Uche lauded Otti for paying the hospital bills of the eighteen indigent persons.
Rev. Fr. Uche said “Otti promised to help them and asked them to write down their names and 18 patients whose bills ranged from N50, 000 to N1.1m wrote their names.
“Immediately he made that promise, some of the patients started leaving the hospital, saying Otti would definitely pay the bills, some of them who had paid deposits asked the hospital to refund them since Otti had promised that he would fulfill it”.
Fr. Uche who said the hospital had refunded those patients who made some deposits said he would have loved to mention the amount which he said ran into millions of naira, but that since Otti never permitted that, the hospital had no choice.
While thanking Otti for his generosity, the administrator of the hospital recalled how Otti made donations of PPEs to the hospital for COVID-19 and called on other good spirited individuals to emulate his good gesture.
Some of the patients, including Chief Irom commended Otti for his benevolence in paying the hospital bills of some of the patients who were discharged but had no money to pay.
One of the beneficiaries, Ikechukwu Madumere in expressing gratitude to Otti said, “We are very grateful, Dr. Alex Otti came here to see his friend, when he was about to leave, some of the patients who were discharge and had stayed back for between two weeks to six months because there was no money to pay and go, approached him for help.
“I had major surgery twice and my bill was N1.1m and it was difficult for me to settle that bill, I’m happy that Otti has saved me from public embarrassment”.
Ferdinand Ekeoma, media aide to Otti said what his principal did was not laced with any political undertone as this was not the first time he was helping the poor, stressing that this was purely a humanitarian intervention.