Doctors not responsible for patients’ death at ATBUTH – CMD

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The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi, Dr Yusuf Bara Jibrin, on Tuesday, described as false the report making the rounds in some quarters in Bauchi State that some deaths being recorded in the hospital were caused by doctors’ negligence.

According to the CMD, no doctor feels happy to see a patient die when he could save such patient by giving them prompt medical attention.

Jibrin stated this when a led committee known as the League of Friends of ATBUH on a courtesy visit to the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) at the Press Centre in Bauchi.

While saying that 50 percent of patients who come to the hospital cannot afford to foot their medical bills, the CMD informed that lack of funds at times contributed to the death of some of them.

He stated that when drugs were prescribed for some patients, they would not buy them due to unavailability of money.

“You will write drugs for a patient to buy and sometimes they will not buy the drugs until two hours later because of no money. Sometimes, they will have to source for the money by selling their valuables to raise that money.

“If you say you assist one person, then others too will take advantage of that and it is not possible to assist everybody. I am a consultant, I know what we as doctors are experiencing.

“If there is a case of death in the hospital, the doctor on call that day will not sleep because he has to give explanations to the panel of the hospital what happened that resulted in that person’s death,” Dr Jibrin said.

He submitted that doctors were so stressed up most times attending to patients to the extent that they did not even have time for themselves, adding that despite this, doctors still ensured they did their best at their work.

“Attending to the needs of patients in the hospital can be very demanding to the extent that some doctors usually collapse. Some even die of sudden death because they don’t have the time to take care of themselves.

“It does not mean that doctors will not do their work because they are the ones that choose to become doctors. The work of a doctor can be challenging; sometimes you don’t even have time for your family.”

This notwithstanding, the CMD declared that the management of the hospital would investigate any cases of doctor’s negligence leading to the death of a patient.

“So, it is not true that doctors at the ATBUTH neglect their duties. However, if it is discovered that a doctor deliberately neglects his duty which resulted in the death of a patient, an investigation will be launched into the case and if found guilty, that doctor will be punished accordingly.

“The doctor can even lose his certificate if there is any case of negligence on his part,” he said

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the League of Friends of ATBUTH, Nuhu Adamu Jumba, informed that they were on the courtesy visit with a view to intimating the NUJ of the existence of the League, its functions and achievements recorded over the years.

According to him, the League was established 10 years ago when the State Specialist’s Hospital was taken over by the Federal Government in order to turn it to a teaching hospital, adding that in the past, people were not patronising the hospital because of misinformation.

Responding, the state NUJ Chairman, Comrade Umar Sa’idu, thanked the League for the visit and assured that members of the Union would educate the people of the state on the League’s activities.

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