Babcock University Teaching Hospital Raises Alarm Over Abandoned Patient

The management of Babcock University Teaching Hospital (BUTH) has voiced concern over the abandonment of one of its patients, Maurice Okpenyong.

The patient was abandoned by his children, who have reportedly disappeared after signing his discharge in December 2023.

Okpenyong, a resident of Obot Akara Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, was reportedly brought to the hospital by his son, identified as Lawrence and a daughter.

The management said both have since vanished, leaving their father in the care of BUTH.

Efforts by the hospital’s management, in collaboration with local authorities, to locate the whereabouts of the patient’s children have been unsuccessful, despite searches conducted at their official and private residences.

Initially, Okpenyong’s unpaid bill amounted to N399,320 upon his discharge, but due to his prolonged stay and the refusal of his children to claim him, the bill had escalated to N1,279,350 as of March 20, 2024, with only N180,000 paid by the patient or his family.

Expressing their growing concerns, the hospital’s management emphasized the deteriorating condition of Okpenyong, who it said had become unruly and abusive.

It added that the development was posing challenges to the hospital staff while they continued to provide care for him.

The hospital said it had made a public plea to Okpenyong’s family to take him home, saying, it could no longer ensure his welfare, citing incidents of unsanitary behaviour that threatened his health and the hospital environment.

The statement reads: “Sometimes he removes his urine bag and urinates on the floor and the whole place smells.

“This is why we have placed him on watch because we are afraid that he may abscond.

“Mr. Okpenyong is a native of Obot Akara Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom and he came in with Repeat Suprapublic Cystostomy diagnosis.

“Okpenyong’s medical diagnosis of Repeat Suprapubic Cystostomy underscores the urgency of the situation, as his care requires specialized attention that the hospital cannot sustain indefinitely without family support.”