The management of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State, has confirmed the addition of N1,000 daily electricity fee to the service charge of every admitted patient in the hospital.
The hospital, in a circular obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, disclosed that the new development was prompted by the high cost of electricity tariffs and diesel.
The circular was signed by the UCH administrator, Wole Oyeyemi, on behalf of the chairman of the medical advisory committee and chief medical director.
It reads in part, “Following the recurring power outage in the hospital, high cost of electricity tariff and inflation in the price of diesel which have impeded stable power supply, management has decided to consider measures that can help to facilitate flawless service delivery in the hospital.
“To this end, I write to convey the management’s approval for the mandatory payment of utility fee of N1,000.00 (one thousand naira only) daily by every patient accessing care in this hospital.
“You are requested to kindly implement the approval with immediate effect.”
Confirming the development to PREMIUM TIMES, an official at the hospital’s works department, who requested anonymity for fear of sanction, explained that the hospital is currently running on “a huge loss” and had to improvise by adding the N1,000 to patients’ service charge.
The source added that the hospital receives between N50 and N60 million electricity bills every month from the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC).
“You are aware that diesel is very costly, as we have to rely on public power supply and then the bill by our electricity distributor- IBDC, is also now very high.”
“We receive between N50 and N60 million naira every month here and this is not a corporate organisation, we are serving humanity. So because we cannot maintain such a bill, we had to look for ways of sustainability,” the source said.
“The more power we have, the higher the bill,” the official added, noting that oftentimes the hospital experiences a recurring power outage, and would be forced to run power generating sets for hours.
The source also emphasised that the hospital cannot afford total blackout “because of the emergency units that need constant power and water supply.”
The public relations officer of the hospital, Toye Akinrinola, who also confirmed the development on the telephone, noted that “there is more to the development than what is being circulated.”
He added that some well-meaning Nigerians have started donating diesel to support the hospital.
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