The Association of Nigerian Private Medical Practitioners (ANPMP), Lagos State Chapter, has accused the ad-hoc committee constituted by the Lagos House of Assembly to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged disappearance of the small intestines of late Adebola Akin-Bright of bias.
The chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Noheem Adams, had revealed that Doctor Abayomi Baiyewu of Obitoks Hospital who performed surgeries twice on Adebola is not a qualified surgeon.
Adams said during investigation, the committee learnt from Baiyewu that he is not a surgeon but only relied on his experience as a medical doctor to perform the surgeries.
Consequently, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, directed the Clerk, Olalekan Onafeko, to write to the state police command for the arrest of Baiyewu.
Obasa further asked the committee to look into other grey areas including inviting officials of the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) which has the law-backed responsibility to monitor private hospitals operating in the state.
But reacting in a statement jointly signed by its Lagos Branch Chairman, Dr Makinde Akinlemibola and General Secretary, Dr Debo Adebiyi, ANPMP said that the panel demonstrated witch-hunt.
According to the association, while the panel attempted to reduce the session of its member to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, that of the doctor from the government hospital involved in the management of the boy was allowed to give a detailed report.
It pointed out that the panel not including a doctor, made it difficult for the panel to properly investigate the matter.
ANPMP noted that there was clear evidence that members of the panel were ‘genuinely ignorant’ of some of the workings of the medical profession which became obvious from some of the questions posed during their sitting.
The association called for a thorough investigation by a well-constituted professional team, adding that the only body empowered by law to investigate this kind of case is the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
“It is important to note that the honourable members of the panel also demonstrated a clear case of witch-hunt and working to a predetermined answer by attempting to reduce the session to a “Yes” and “No” session for our member from the private hospital while the doctor from the government hospital involved in the management of the deceased was given the latitude to give a detailed report.
“The bias was taken to a ridiculous level when the same doctor who operated on the patient at the government hospital was asked to assess and determine the response of the doctor who operated on the patient in the private hospital. A case of being a judge in your case you would say!
“Of course, the doctor seeing the absurdity of the request cleverly declined.
“A similar panel set up earlier by the Ministry of Health (HEFAMAA) that had a surgeon on the seat had confirmed that the X-ray films taken while the patient was on admission at LASUTH also showed the presence of the intestines.
“Information available to us also confirms that a large mass of black tissue was removed at LASUTH and handed to the patient’s mother to take to the histopathology laboratory by the team that operated on the patient at LASUTH after they came out of the theatre.
“Strangely, the government through their agency, HEFAMAA rushed to seal up the theatre of the private hospital, while the government hospital where the patient was operated on and eventually died was left to continue to operate as if nothing happened.
“We have to emphasise here that matters of this nature deserve thorough investigation by a well-constituted professional team and the only body empowered by law to investigate such cases is the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN,” the statement read partly.
ANPMP stated that based on available scientific evidence at its disposal, it has been able to establish some privileged and incontrovertible facts.
The association explained that an ultrasound scan and X-ray done at LASUTH on June 19 confirmed that there was the presence of normal intestinal movement.
“The patient was first operated on at Obitoks Hospital 6th of March 2023 on account of a ruptured appendix after he was referred from a medical centre where he was managed for typhoid enteritis.
“It was discovered on the operation table that there was an abscess which will require a different management approach to drain. (The appendix at that time must not be removed because of the abscess). The patient however got better afterwards.
“The patient presented again about 3 months later and a diagnosis of obstructed intestine was made which necessitated operating on the abdomen again to relieve the obstruction.
“It is a fact that the parents were invited into the operating room to see and confirm the point of obstruction and the 4 inches of the small intestine to be removed, out of the about 24 feet of the normal small intestine.
“It was also established that the patient was referred to the tertiary centre 8 days post-operation at the request of the parents. It is a fact that the patient was admitted to LASUTH on the 17th of June.
“The patient was however eventually operated upon on the 14th of July 2023 (i.e. 28 days after admission in LASUTH). It is therefore strange how the story of the missing/disappearing intestine gained prominence in the media in a patient who was on admission to a public facility (LASUTH) for almost 28 days.
“The question to then ask is, how did the patient survive for 28 days without intestine? In addition to this, it was also established as confirmed by ultrasound scan and X-ray done at LASUTH on the 19th of June (I.e. 3rd day on admission) that there was the presence of normal intestinal movement,” the statement added.
Adebola died on Tuesday, after two surgeries performed at a private hospital and a corrective surgery at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
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