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“The woes of out of pocket payment health care services for children” – A cry by Hon. kelvin Etinosa

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Social reformist, political activist and current president of the university of benin medical student association(UBEMSA), Hon. Kelvin Etinosa, has decried out of pocket payment health care services been practiced by nigerian hospitals.

Hon. Kelvin while speaking to dockaysworld, criticized this practice by hospital even for the young.

He called on relalevant authorities to reach out to the Nigerian government to help eradicate this practice especially for children.

“It was a normal routine paediatric ward round, when a woman opted for the discharge of her son against medical advice on the account of insufficient funds even when the child was still in distress.

I watched in silent tears as the senior Registrar wrote on the case note discharge against medical advice while I stood there confused and akinetic, several thoughts ran through my mind like water down the hill.

I have seen this ordeal several times in adult medicine and few in paediatric care but this one was characteristic to me.

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In adult medicine, I tend to buffer my conscience with the fact that it was the patients themselves taking the informed decision with full knowledge of the consequences but for an infant whose medical right and choice to health is a function of his parents/Guardian, nothing could ameliorate my conscience.

So many persons have lost their loved ones due to out of pocket payment for medical services. It’s to them I write this .

I state vehemently that out of pocket payment for health care services is barbaric and a modifiable risk factor to the increased infant morbidity and mortality in the undeveloped nations.

If we cannot spare the Adult from out of pocket payment for health care services, we must spare these innocent children whose sins was to be born from this woe.

We cannot afford to lose children to preventable and curable diseases on the account of their parents’ financial capacity.
Child health must move beyond parental income. I am not talking about the quality of health care but the coverage.

We need to spare these children from this menace. Our Government must give priority to the health need of all children. Medicine is not for the rich but for all.

No child should be discharged against medical advice on the account of funds. We must save our children today, that is the only way to guarantee the future of our dear nation.

The health care professionals must all in one voice advocate for the health need of the children.. What is the essence of advanced and sophisticated health care services if the people cannot afford it.

I call on all relevant stakeholders and medical professionals to advocate and engage the Government till this out of pocket payment for health care services is eradicated especially for the children” he said.

"The woes of out of pocket payment health care services for children" - A cry by Hon. kelvin Etinosa

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