There has been public outcry for investigations into the death of Greatness Olorunfemi, a female crime victim who was rushed to Maitama General Hospital, Abuja but later died, after the hospital authorities refused to attend to her without a police report.
According to eyewitness accounts, Greatness Olorunfemi had been pushed off a moving vehicle by a ‘one-chance’ criminal gang, along the Maitama-Kubwa arterial highway in Abuja, on Tuesday. Thereafter, sympathisers at the scene took the victim to Maitama General Hospital, Abuja but the nurses and doctor on duty refused to give her emergency medical care, until they received a policy report. According to one eye witness, Greatness died, twenty minutes after she had been brought to the hospital and refused medical attention.
💔Greatness Olorunfemi was pushed out of a moving vehicle and brought to Maitama General Hospital, Abuja, by compassionate bystanders.
But instead of receiving the care she desperately needed, the hospital's doors were shut in their faces and she died.💔#JusticeForGreatnessHR pic.twitter.com/B6GBPa9iwy
— The Guardian Nigeria (@GuardianNigeria) September 29, 2023
In a recorded audio message in which he berated the security situation in Abuja and offered public safety advice, one of the eye witnesses who took the late Greatness Olorunfemi to Maitama General Hospital, noted that another crime victim who was brought into the hospital for medical treatment by policemen, a few minutes after good samaritans had brought Greatness into the hospital, was also refused treatment.
In July 2018, the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari launched the Patients’ Bill of Rights (PBOR) which among others, empowers the public to access immediate and timely emergency care at hospitals and clinics, without any hindrance (including provision of a police report). Championed by the Consumer Protection Council (now Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission Lagos -FCCPC), the bill was launched by the then Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo,
However, public analysts and thought leaders in the health sector have advocated for strict compliance and enforcement of the Patients’ Bill of Rights.
Meanwhile, the late Greatness Olorunfemi, who was a community developer and member of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Abuja has been mourned by the organisation. According to Moyosoluwa Oladayo, the YALI Network Abuja coordinator, who commented on Greatness’ death, the circumstances surrounding her death underscore the worsening insecurity in Abuja.
“There’s a viral video of her when she was thrown out of the vehicle. She was unconscious and was reportedly taken to Maitama General Hospital where they kept asking for a Police report till she gave up twenty minutes later,” she said.
According to reports, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police, CP Haruna Garba, has taken over the investigation from the Mabushi Police Divisional Police Officer, who was initially investigating the tragic incident.
Speaking further on the ordeal of the late YALI member, Morayo said, “Our friend and colleague was abandoned in her time of need. This is not just about seeking justice for Greatness, but also for other Nigerians who have lost their lives in such unfortunate circumstances.
“We hope for manifest transparency in their investigation. This is a call for immediate and effective measures to address the rising insecurity in our beloved community, and to ensure accountability in our healthcare system,” Oladayo added.
The late Greatness Olorunfemi, until her death, was a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), Abuja Branch and author of Rescued By Love: Why I Cancelled My Wedding, a true account of how she got into an abusive relationship which was terminated just seven days before her scheduled wedding.