Pregnant Woman Denied Care Because Of N20,000 Dies In Port Harcourt

A pregnant Nigerian lady has died because doctors in Port Harcourt insisted the husband must pay N20,000 before she was treated.

The 34-year-old woman, Ijeoma Umumadumere, nee Ahamefule, was rushed to Garrison Clinic in the morning of 25 November when she complained of a sudden stomach pain and headache while cooking. Her husband rushed her to the clinic on Udom Street in the oil rich city around 9a.m… And she was five-months pregnant.

Reports say doctors and nurses refused to attend to the pregnant woman because the husband only had N5,000 out of the N20,000 being demanded as a precondition for treatment. Even the N5,000 the man had on him had been used to offset registration and other costs.

The woman’s brother based in Austria reports say found it hard to understand why doctors in a Nigerian hospital could have so callously and uncaringly treated a pregnant woman.

“Her husband begged the doctor and the nurses to attend to her since they had collected about N5, 000 he had in his pocket in the name of registration and other little things while he would go home and bring money. He had also told them that because of the nature of the emergency and the way his wife had been shouting while on the ground that his mind had only been pre-occupied with the thoughts of rushing her to any nearby hospital and had not thought of money or any other thing as he had even forgotten to put on shoes, but all his pleading and explanations to the doctor and the nurses had fallen onto deaf ears. With her pains increasing and death knocking and the doctor and the nurses refusing to understand, there was no way he could have left her there unattended, to go home and bring money. He took her and headed to another hospital, but unfortunately my sister did not make it as the damage had already been done before the doctors in that second hospital could do something reasonable to save her life.”

“What a country, what a failure and what a loss! This is a sad story of the sorry state of the Nigerian health policy, how Nigerians are heartlessly and carelessly neglected because of money by doctors and nurses to die in hospitals, and how I lost my sister to a failed system,” wrote Uzoma Ahamefule, based in Austria.

Many hospitals in Nigeria, both private and public, are in the habit of asking for pre-payment from patients, even when the case is an emergency. [PMN]


  1. Shame on Nigeria and woe to d practitioners of medicine in Nigeria for given precedence to money above human life to which they took an oath to save & preserve. Thanks to all the doctors & nurses in that clinic another nigerian life is lost, gone 4ever because of a paltry 20k, I ask, how much is that compared to life. Well dis can only happen in a nation where ‘things’ are priced above ‘life’, its a shame because even as we morn dis dead someone is abt to die in another hospital for lack of such negligible amount. If u ask, they’ll tell u they’re not running a charity organisation, what an excuse to kill people.

  2. May her soul RIP! I’m a medical Doctor here in nigeria… The media is always looking for flaws in medical practice and then magnify them, they actually make a huge mountain out of a mole.. Let’s look @ it this way- the man in question had d opportunity of taking his wife to a govt. Hosp. Which I know there MUST b one close to where He lives (either primary health care centre, comprehensive, cottage hosp, general hosp, specialist hosp, FMC or teaching hosp) in such places most state govt have subsidized health care or even offer them free of charge, registration of a patient is either free of charge or just 4 a token
    This man knowing his financial status chose to go to a private hosp. Why? D Dr @ d private hosp is in business, He has staff to pay, bills to settle and for crying out loud all d items he would use on d woman, He bought them wt money( there’s no free lunch)
    I think its a case of the man not cutting his coat according to his cloth.
    Pls nigerian Doctors r nt heartless. Most patients r opportunists, when they come in distress they beg beg and plead bt once the hv bin attended to and they r better they will abscound. They don’t even care abt d service that was given to them. They just walk away. I’ve worked in both private and govt. Sectors I’m talking from experience. Most Doctors insist on downpayment/deposit b4 they start treatment bcos @ d end of d day, the Doctors r left stranded
    Personally if I hv a critical case and truly d person doesn’t hv anymore to offer @ dat point in time, I get d pateint out of danger and then ask d relatives to go and source 4 more money.. Bt we r all different

    • @nana shut up ur stupid mouth, whether public or private hospital, an oath is an oath to save lives. he should have started at least. na wa for u. Its like ure a doctor, ur type has no human sympathy, maybe one day it will happen to u and u will feel. Some doctors treat and then demand the money later. not the other way round. Some are just business men, i wonder why they became doctors.