Dr. Ola Orekunrin, the founder and Managing Director of Flying Doctors Nigeria Ltd., an air ambulance service based in Lagos who works as a medical doctor in the UK has written to us, drawing our attention to the story we published about her on May 11, 2015 entitled; POPULAR NIGERIAN DOCTOR FACES SUSPENSION FOR HELPING ILLEGAL PATIENT ACCESSED FREE MEDICAL SERVICE.
In the story, it was reported that the 29-year-old doctor is currently facing six-month suspension for allegedly helping a fellow Nigerian and a non-resident to access free treatment on the British National Health Service in the UK.
However, the high flying doctor in a letter published below gave her version of the events that led to her arraignment before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service Panel.
A few years ago, I was contacted about a patient; his family believed that he would only receive the specialist care he required in the UK. In trying to assist the family, I spoke to a UK hospital on their behalf, explaining that the patient has a brother who is a Surgeon in the UK and would like to be close to him. It was very clear to all parties including the hospital that the patient was to be admitted PRIVATELY.
Recently, a panel alleged that I was dishonest because the NHS doctor who received my call misunderstood me. Although they admit that I explicitly stated several times that the patient was private. The only contention is whether I said he- the patient lives in the UK or whether I referred to his brother, who is a surgeon as living in the UK.
I disagree totally with the decision of the panel, they were wrong and I told them so in clear terms. Unfortunately, they decided to believe another person’s recollection of that telephone call over my own. There was no written correspondence that proves either side. The decision has of course been appealed.
As to be expected, the patient’s family is outraged, having paid a lot of money for a private treatment. It makes no sense for this same patient, his family and I to be cited as involved in an NHS scam. They have intimated me of their intention to issue a press statement to this effect. They have invoices to prove that from Day 1 they were ready to pay and there was no intention for NHS treatment.
I believe that this was a miscarriage of justice on many levels and that the truth will emerge at some point in the future. This is the current position.
This information is necessary for my clients, partners and other stakeholders .
Dr. Olamide Orekunrin