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UCH Patients’ Lives At Risk Again As IBEDC Disconnects Power Over Outstanding Debts

Daud Olatunji

The University College Hospital (UCH) faces another perilous situation as the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc (IBEDC) disconnected its power supply, citing an alleged significant outstanding electricity bill.

IBEDC’s action, which occurred just weeks after a previous disconnection, has raised concerns about the safety of patients relying on the hospital’s services.

Earlier this month, UCH management made payments totaling N40 million to IBEDC, a fraction of the outstanding debt reported to be approximately N495,075,832.35.

Sources revealed that the hospital’s average monthly electricity bill amounts to N65 million, a staggering figure that has strained its financial resources.

Despite the partial payment made on Friday, IBEDC proceeded with the disconnection, prompting fears among healthcare professionals regarding the impact on patient care.

Healthcare workers expressed dismay over the potential consequences, highlighting the reliance on alternative power sources like inverters and solar systems, which are inadequate for life-saving treatments, especially during emergencies.

They voiced concerns about delays in medical interventions and disruptions to vital services, particularly at the Computed Tomography Unit (CTU), where patients requiring scans and X-rays may face indefinite waits.

Urgent appeals have been made for intervention to address the situation and prevent avoidable deaths among patients.

A source emphasized the dire implications for patients in critical care units, who may be left in darkness without access to essential equipment, posing grave risks to their lives.

Moreover, the restricted use of generators due to diesel costs raises concerns about the maintenance of the mortuary, potentially leading to unpleasant conditions as frozen corpses thaw.

Efforts to obtain comments from the Chief Medical Director of UCH, Dr. Jesse Otegbayo, and IBEDC spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, were unsuccessful as calls went unanswered.

The looming threat to patient safety underscores the urgent need for a resolution to the ongoing dispute between UCH and IBEDC to ensure uninterrupted access to essential healthcare services.

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