The Delta State government free maternal and child healthcare programme is being made a mockery by workers at the Sapele Central Hospital, who allegedly extort patients by demanding the payment of illegal levies from them.
Findings by the reporter showed that the workers charge between N6,000 and N7,000 from the patients and issued fake receipts allegedly sent by the state government.
Some of the affected pregnant women said they had earlier registered for ante-natal service at the General Hospital, Akwukwu-Igbo, where they live without paying any fee, but when they visited the Sapele hospital for delivery they made to pay N25,000.
One of the pregnant women, who identified herself as Mrs. Blessing Efe, said she was compelled to pay an extra N1800 for what the hospital’s workers called registration fee.
She said: “I was also compelled to buy most of the prescribed drugs. For every examination carried out by the nurses, I paid N120 for hand gloves. While I was about to be delivered of my baby, I was asked to provide money for fuel to power the generating set.”