The number of people infected by coronavirus in Douala, Cameroon’s economic capital is on the rise. Three hospitals allocated by the government to treat patients are overwhelmed with patients seeking treatment.
In a bid to provide fast treatment to people, the government has authorised few private clinics to assist in the treatment process.
According Dr. Ngolla Roger of Polyclinique Marie O, one of the clinics authorised to treat COVID-19 patients in Douala, the high cost of medicine and other medical material for the treatment of COVID-19 justifies the high bills served to patients after treatment.
To a patient treated of COVID-19 in this clinic who talked to Mimi Mefo Info, “after treatment of COVID-19 for four days in Polyclinique Marie O, I was served a bill of 1.2 million francs cfa. I think the bill is too high”.
Another patient treated of COVID-19 in the clinic says he might not leave the hospital given that he does not have close to a million francs to pay as bill after three days of treatment.
Dr. Ngolla Roger of the clinic through a telephone interview justifies the bills saying all medicine that concerns the treatment of COVID-19 patients have witnessed an increase in prices in the world and given that government is overwhelmed by the situation, private clinics use their limited resources to assist in the treatment of people who cannot be treated in government hospitals because of a high number of patients.
“In government hospitals, treatment is 300.000frs per day for a COVID-19 patient, so in private hospitals the amount is higher”.
He regrets that in Cameroon, people spend time criticising medical personnel treating COVID-19 while in other countries people send congratulatory messages to medical workers risking their lives to treat people suffering from the pandemic.
A patient treated of COVID-19 in the clinic (names withheld for security reasons) tells Mimi Mefo Info in a telephone interview that “the doctors in the clinic started administering COVID-19 medicine to me when results of the test had not yet been known. I arrived the clinic feeling weak and by mere looking and observing me, they said I was a COVID-19 suspect. They explained to me that they prefer to begin treatment early for the interest of the patients rather than starting late when the virus has reached an advance stage”. She adds that the process of tests takes a longer time
As COVID-19 patients battle to foot their bills in private clinics in Douala, Cameroonians are questioning why government has not extended financial assistance to patients taking treatment in private clinics in Douala recommended by the government of Cameroon.
Mimi Mefo Info.