If l die, give my gratuity to Governor Dickson — Ailing Bayelsa journalist •Details of his heart-rending ordeal

Posted by Felix Philip, Yenagoa | 6 June 2018 | 2,839 times

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•Ailing Bayelsa Journalist Thompson Oyatu

Sitting hopeless, helpless and hapless on a sickbed is a veteran journalist who served in the Bayelsa State civil service before his retirement in 2012. Until his retirement, he served as the substantive News Editor at the Bayelsa state Newspaper Corporation.

Mr. Thompson Oyatu is not a happy man at the moment and he is not pretending about it. He looks pale and frail. The former News Editor of the New Waves newspaper is critically ill and needs proper medical attention but that seems to be very far from coming his way. The prolific writer is currently battling with a bulging stomach resulting from the blockage of his large intestine, experts say.

The retired civil servant was rushed to the emergency ward at the Bayelsa Specialist Hospital, Government House in Yenagoa over three weeks ago.

He wanted an effective and perhaps more affordable medical attention following the much talked about medical services put in place by the present administration.

On the contrary, the 64 years old media guru told a team of journalists who visited him at the hospital that he was shocked and crestfallen by his experience.

According to him, no medical treatment had been administered to him neither were there qualified medical Doctors to analyze his situation since his arrival at the hospital.

He recounted that the entire Male Ward could boast of only five Nurses and a handful of student Doctors who had been administering only BP check on him while his situation deteriorates by the day. The once agile pen pusher is now a shadow of his own self.

Obviously, Mr. Oyatu, who is also the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Verdict Newspaper, has some grouse with Governor Seriake Dickson’s leadership style over what he described as his “diversionary tendencies”.

Oyatu’s misgiving about the Restoration Government is doubled headed.

Firstly, he feels highly disappointed at the level of medical services being rendered to patients at the state-owned Specialist Hospital on which huge amount of state funds had been expended.

Secondly, he believes strongly that the present administration is insensitive to the plights of retired civil servants in the state.

He pointed out that since his retirement six years ago, he was yet to receive his gratuity, consequent upon which he could not subscribe to the Bayelsa State Health Insurance Scheme.

His words: “Since l came to this hospital, no Doctor has actually attended to me judiciously. I came in here more than ten days ago. I gained admission into the Emergency Ward before l was transferred to the Male Ward. Since then, nothing has been done.

“The place looks deserted. Doctors are not on their regular duties. The ones that manage to come are just perambulating all over the place.

“What brought me here is stomach problem but up till now, l have not been able to know what is wrong with my stomach which is suddenly bulging.

“They have sent me to run series of tests including stomach and chest scans but no Doctor has been able to analyse the medical reports l brought to them and tell me my situation. All they have told me is ‘BP’. Since last Wednesday till date, it is BP.

“They keep promising that they were going to invite specialists from outside the hospital. The next thing, they said they will take me to the theatre to open me up; that something is blocking my large intestine. They are not even sure of what they want to open me up for.

“In the whole of this male ward, there are only five Nurses, what can they do? As you can see, none of them is here.

“In short, l have requested that they should discharge me from this place so that l may go elsewhere to take care of myself. There are no resident Doctors here as far as l am concerned. I have personally talked to the few ones that come around and found out that they are all Corps Members.

Continuing, he said: “The most pathetic aspect of the Bayelsa State medical scheme is the serious propaganda that is going on everywhere.

“Contrary to what we hear out there, bills are highly exorbitant here. They are charging me N4,100 per day while l buy drugs from outside the hospital. I have not received any treatment, yet they are demanding N58,000 before l could be discharged.

“Patients on admission here are calling on individual doctors and nurses from elsewhere to come and help them. A young man who is a subscriber to the so-called Bayelsa Health Insurance Scheme just discharged himself this morning due to lack of care. There are no drugs, no qualified manpower.

“The way l look at the whole thing; the way l understand it, it is a ruse. It is a way of siphoning the money of the state.”

On the non-payment of gratuity to retired civil servants, the beleaguered ex-civil servant said: “We are being deprived of having access to good medical services because the government of the day is insensitive to our plights.

“Since this government came into power six years ago, it has not paid any gratuity. That is why we can’t subscribe to the health insurance scheme.

“Instead of them to use the bailout funds and the Paris Club money to clear our gratuity, they decided to divert the funds to other places. Maybe he is waiting for our death just as many of us have died out of frustrations.

“When l die, let him take my gratuity. This is a diversionary tendency so that when they are called upon to give account, they would say we use the money for medical services. Bayelsa state is in trouble.”


Source: News Express

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