Friday, October 25, 2013

What Has Been Your Experience at Doren Specialist Hospital in Ajah?

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Doren Specialist Hospital commenced business back in 1996 as a clinic, and says on their website that they aim "to provide qualitative health care delivery services to the citizens of Nigeria as well as foreign dwellers at affordable rates without compromising standard." But it seems those standards are being annihilated with impunity in recent years. I came across this story that chilled me to the bone!

Ibilola Essien was a patient at Doren Hospital and shared her experience on her blog so others will learn. Here's an excerpt

My husband decided to take me to Doren Specialist Hospital (his HMO hospital in Ajah). We got there and the doctor said she thought it might be Urinary Tract Infection or Acute appendicitis. Because of the pain they immediately placed me on IV and by the next morning, I had taken like 10. Subsequently they called the Chief Surgeon to take a look at me. He ordered that I do a scan on the 1st floor of their hospital to confirm his theory that it was acute appendicitis. I did the scan followed it with blood and urine tests.

Already, I was irritated with the quality of service in the hospital. The nurses were inefficient when they drew blood, my IV would run out for at least 30 minutes before the nurse would change it, blood would stain the sheets till I begged they be removed. I felt like I was in hell.

On seeing the result of my 'scan' the chief surgeon was convinced that I had acute appendicitis. At this point after seeing the wish washy attitude, I decided to google 'appendicitis'. My findings led me to ask the doctors if there were other ailments that may mask the symptoms of appendicitis. One of them told me he was the doctor and what he said was it. I shut my mouth (abi, it is law I read, I didn't read medicine).

Then came tuesday, the day prescribed for surgery. I was so upset. No one had come to explain anything ( I mean they were about to invade my body, the least they could do was give me detailed information of the procedure, I had a right to know. Didn't I?)

After I had nagged and screamed the hospital down, they eventually sent the anaesthetist to come and give me a 'detailed script' of how the surgery would go down. (Please pay attention to the 'detailed script', it is intended to be sarcastic, just in case the meaning is lost on you)

I went in. I did the surgery. I was bedhooked for 5days in the hospital and another 5 days at home. The experience left a metallic taste in my mouth. What kind of hospital was that? I resumed work in two weeks looking hot like fire and began to live life like nothing happened.

September came ( two months later). The pain resumed. Kai. What kind of wahala was this? Sebi they took out the acute appendicitis? (Guess my enemies were not happy. lol)

My sensitive and vigilant mum called. My dad says I should go to 'Mecure'. I did (they said I needed a doctor's referral). My mum insisted that I go see Aunty Mabel to take me to the Advanced Videoscopic and Laparascopy Center. Everyone was fretting. What was going on?

I went to see the physician at this new prescribed hospital. He examined me and told me he thought it was either a Liver disease or a condition known as Endometriosis. He ordered me to go to a Consultancy and Investigative Center to do thorough tests like the ultra sound, CT Scan & Liver function test.

At the investigative center, they push liquid through my rectum for minutes, pump mixed 'liguids' through my arm. The result comes out. It shows clearly that Doren Specialist Hospital cut out my appendix for nothing.

I take it back to my physician. (Yes my doctor) who tells me to google the apparent issue and ask him questions. (See the difference between the doctor that got it right and the one that did not.) I ask him all sorts of questions. He puts my mind at rest, gives me all the details necessary for a second necessary surgery.

I do the second surgery (a laparoscopy which shows that the appendix site was left in a way that could have messed up my intestines in a few months.) Phew. God is good.

I am not sharing this so that you can ooooh or aaah on my behalf. I am sharing so that you and your loved ones can pay attention to what is done to and on your body. No one knows it all. Ask about everything regarding your health. Pay attention to what they diagonise. You and I can cause a change in the nefarious health system in Nigeria. Speak out.

As if this experience was not chilling enough, from the comments came more narratives about Doren Hospital that would make any right thinking doctor of this hospital ask his staff questions. Here's one of them

Oluwakemi Animashaun-OderindeTuesday, 12 March 2013 20:38:00 GMT-7
On Sunday, May 28, 2006 (a day after Children's Day), I had a ghastly car accident on the Ajah/Epe express road while driving to church. Another vehicle ran into mine while coming at top speed from the opposite direction just as I was about to drive across the road into my church's parking lot. It was raining cats and dogs. It was a foggy morning as the heavy rain made visibility poor. (Oh how I remember that day like it happened just yesterday!) I still don't remember feeling or hearing the car crash at the time it occurred. All I know was, I was on the other side of the road, watching out for oncoming vehicles and signaling with my light to cross the road and park my car in front of church. When the coast was clear, I drove out crossing the road . . . next thing was . . . LIGHTS OUT! Unknown to me, I had passed out. The split seconds just before I passed out (as later narrated to me by onlookers and some church members who saw what happened), a car ran into mine from the opposite direction causing a loud bang heard by all which left a jaw dropping sight and also caused my car to spin several times before finally coming to a full stop. While my car was spinning, my body (especially my head) was hitting the dash board, the window, the car seat and the wind shield. As the car finally stopped spinning and people came to my rescue, they could not even open the door because I had locked my doors and worn my seat belt (something I always do). I thank God for the seat belt because I would have been flung out the window but for the seat belt that held on to my legs on the driver's seat as my body was on the other seat in front. Anyway, as people kept banging on the car and trying to open the car to get me out, somehow, I regained consciousness. It was me who got up from the other seat, undid my seat belt before they were able to get me out. I was in the pool of my own blood! . . .

This isn't really about my accident but really about the hospital I was immediately taken to; DOREN HOSPITAL. My face had some lacerations and a horrible opening that was almost showing my inner tissues. At that time, I was not feeling any pain; my whole body was numb (I guess due to the shock and impact from the accident). I could not see my face but others could and they tried to hide their fear of how I was looking as they rushed me to Doren. On getting to Doren Hospital that Sunday morning, the doctor on duty cleaned the blood on my face and stitched the openings on my face. I was later taken to one of the rooms to lay down as they administered some medication. I remember it was Pastor and Pastor Mrs Otegbade (Ibilola Essien's parents) that broke the news to my parents. As the Otegbades and my Mom and Dad arrived, my Mom broke into tears immediately and requested that I be taken to Premier Specialist Hospital in VI. It was in Premier that I was admitted for about a week. On getting to Premier Hospital, the doctors noticed that the main stitch (the one with the horrible opening) was not properly done. But they said they would not undo the stitch but wait for my face to heal and then do facial grafting. Unknown to me and even Premier Hospital, the worse was yet to come . . .

About a week after the stitching at Doren, my face began to swell. The place where the main stitch was done had become septic and yellowish pus was always coming out. After sometime, I noticed tiny pieces of broken glass were coming out of the wound. It was a painful experience! Apparently, Doren Hospital had stitched the deep cut without first carefully cleaning it out. So I had a lot of tiny pieces of broken glass from the accident in my face, all stitched in!

To cut this really long story short, the pieces of broken glass were taken out and the wound began to heal slowly. The outcome would have been much better if that first job done at Doren Hospital was properly done. That was about 7 years ago, I give God the glory for healing and for being back to my pretty self :-) He he he ;-)

There are even more gory recounts of bad experiences at Doren in the Blog comments. I know a lot of systems in Nigeria are bad, and if there are two systems that suffer the most when resources are poor, it is health and education. But it is painful that when called to own up to their shortcomings, rather than offer help, this is what a doctor at Doren had to say.

Brig Gen (Dr) J.A.Aremu (Rtd)Monday, 1 July 2013 15:37:00 GMT-7
Mrs Ibilola Essien, it is good now that your true identity has been revealed. ordinarily doctors are not supposed to advertise hence I will not join issues with you on a faceless internet blog.

I happen to be a visiting surgeon to Doren Specialist Hospital and my attention has been drawn to your malicious publication about the hospital. This has been read by numerous people(as you intended) both locally and abroad.

The management of the hospital including the Chief Consultant Surgeon you alluded to in your malicious publication happens to be a surgeon of over 30years experience.

Dr John Ojukwu happens to be a friend of Doren Hospital and our junior colleague. I doubt that he will make unprofessional comments about his seniors. If you still insist he found Doren incompetent, let him put his report in writing.

I requested to objectively investigate your allegations and I have found out your appendix was actually sent for histology(if you know what that means) and the diagnosis of acute appendicitis and peritonitis was confirmed by professors of pathology. You and your friends may wish to confirm this at Doren (I run my clinics from 10am - 4pm every Saturday at Doren).

It is rather sad that youths of today abuse the internet and under the cloak of anonymity want to bring down and rubbish the hard earned reputation of a highly skilled surgeon. Rather than continue your diatribe and character assassination on the internet as part of the "pull him down syndrome"(PHD), I would advise you go ahead and sue Doren if you are very sure there was a misdiagnosis or other wrong doings. How could you have survived 10pints of drip in one night???

Why does anyone faced with charges of mediocrity think people are out to pull them down? The evidence is right in your face! So many people cannot be wrong and only you right!

What has been your own experience? Who knows whether Doren is now under investigation, or at least has their HMO license revoked?


  1. Speechless! I didn't even know Nigerians used HMOs

  2. I've heard stories of Doren hospital but I've not used them myself. After this, I won't be trying to use them ever.

  3. Hmmmm,I lost a friend in dis same Doren hospital 2mths ago!!! She died of Ectopic pregnancy *sadddd*

  4. Myne i had to go to that website to read up myself. Its so disheartening what goes on in Nigeria. A lot of comments about the incompetence of that Hospital, yet someone who claims to be a specialist was defending the Hospital rather than getting to the root of the issue. God help those Living in Nigeria.

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  6. They should be investigated properly and blacklisted......rubbish hospital coming out to make noise

  7. The affected lady should go beyond posting her grievances on her blog. The best thing is to send a petition to the Medical and dental council of nigeria, the body empowered by the law to investigate cases of medical negligence. A number of doctors have lost their licenses after due investigation and trial by the MDCN. The blog post will only whip up public sympathy and be forgotten after some time without any action taken. The doctor has challenged her to sue. On a general note, the attitude of medical personnel in naija is very poor! Infact service delivery is appalling in every sector! Everyone wants something, without giving anything!

  8. The hospital,and many others,should be investigated.The negligence showed by the necessary bodies in Nigeria is causing us to lose great people to death.This should stop!

  9. The unreasonable doctor,who should've read comments in Essien's blog and saw the number of people sharing their experiences,should bow his head in shame.


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