The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Oyo State Council has described as despicable and height of irresponsibility, an attack on the chairman of Fresh FM International, Dr Yinka Ayefele and the radio by the state chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Wale Lasisi.
The union made this known in a statement by its Chairman, Ademola Babalola and made available to newsmen, on Thursday.
The NMA chairman, in a reckless statement signed by him, riled against the media discussion of an act of criminal negligence by a doctor who carried out a caesarian section on a woman and left a sanitary pad in the woman’s tummy before sealing her up.
The patient developed serious complications after the act of negligence and is currently in dire need of urgent medical intervention to save her life.
After the hospital refused to address the complication arising therefrom, the spouse of the patient visited Fresh FM to lay the matter at the public court through the media.
As a trained media proprietor, Dr Ayefele dispatched a team of reporter and videographers to investigate the matter and the station even tried to explore the possibility of resolving the matter without bringing it to the public.
While the patient and her spouse gave their account of the incident, the hospital (name withheld) blatantly refused to speak or clarify its position.
Left with no option but to go public, the matter was discussed on Let’s Talk About It, a popular quasi-Ombudsman chit chat programme on Fresh FM with Ayefele and Enitan Olusegun Bamidele as co-anchors.
One of those who called into the programme from the United Kingdom was heard chiding Ayefele for shielding the identity of the hospital, saying unsuspecting members of the public might fall victim like the patient should the radio station not disclose the identity of the hospital.
Ayefele, it will be recalled, mentioned on the programme that NMA chairman told him the association had waded into the matter for peaceful resolution.
While the NUJ commends Dr Ayefele for going the extra mile to verify the story and ensure report therefrom does not stand on one leg, we find it irresponsible that Dr Lasisi could issue such a statement to berate the media entrepreneur for doing a thorough professional public service.
“While we at NUJ believe the most brilliant and professional doctors can make mistakes in the discharge of their duties, the crass arrogance displayed by the NMA chairman reprehensible as it is should alert members of the public to shine their eyes before going to hospitals like the one involved in this irresponsible act.
“We affirm that the doctor who operated on the woman has broken their Hippocratic Oath where they swore to exercise the several parts of their profession to the best of their knowledge and ability for the good, safety and welfare of all persons committing themselves to their care and attention.
“If, in the words of immortal Shakespeare, the evil that men do lives after them, we in Oyo NUJ believes the evil that doctors do to their patients must not be allowed to die with the patients as it is usually the normal practice.
“In the instant case, we urge the state government to raise t committee to investigate the matter and sanction any erring party with a view to forestall a recurrence.
“We also urge government to weed the health sector of quacks masquerading as professionals and endangering the lives of innocent citizens and residents.
“As a union, we call upon all media organisations, print and electronic as well as online to further dig into the story to unearth further truth and perhaps other similar stories about the hospital,” the union said.