By Oluwafunke Ishola
The Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) says it has issued directive to its members against treating COVID-19 patients.
Dr Tunji Akintade, Chairman, Lagos State Branch of AGPMPN, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
NAN recalls that out of the six COVID-19 related deaths recorded in Lagos, two were said to have died at private hospitals.
Akintade, who said that members of the association were complying with the directive, however, noted that some patients at private health facilities were not adhering to full and accurate disclosure of information.
“The challenges we have is that some of the patients are asymptomatic, and are aware of their health status and travel history.
“But they are lying in the information given to the health providers which puts the health facility and its workers into jeopardy.
“We are trying to let government understand that the backlog of suspected COVID-19 cases that are untested will spill over into private health facilities.
“The fact is that some of these patients might have been registered at some of these private facilities in the past, thus had been receiving treatment there before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Once the patients are turned back by the government, they return to the private hospitals where they were registered, because they know that they need medical treatment,” he said.
Akintade noted that the issue portends risk not only to the private health facilities, but also to the public and government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
The AGPMPN chairman stressed the need to enhance testing of COVID-19 due to cases of local transmission and asymptomatic patients reported in some parts of the state.
Akintade stressed the need for more synergy and collaboration between the government and the private health facilities toward halting spread of the virus.
According to him, the association has written a letter to the Lagos State COVID-19 Incident Commander through the Incident Manager, adding that they were awaiting feedback.
He disclosed that some of the issues raised in the letter were the need for supply of consumables to private health facilities, and need to collaborate on community surveillance.
“We need aids and vehicular support to work because we are situated all over Lagos, and we need to work in conjunction with the state surveillance team to comb different communities in the state,” Akintade said.