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 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.
The 29-year-old(pictured) who was feted by Forbes magazine in 2013 as one of Africa’s top 20 ‘Young Power Women’ was alleged to have flown a critically ill burns victim from Nigeria into the UK in March 2013, and ‘dishonestly’ claimed the man was a resident, and obtained NHS treatment costing more than £45,000(N13.8m), Daily Mail reports.
The paper said the man was then found to be carrying a deadly superbug infection, resulting in the temporary closure of part of an NHS hospital ward because of the potential risk to other patients.
British people pay for the NHS through taxes, however, NHS doctors are ripping off the health service by fraudulently obtaining thousands of pounds worth of drugs and hospital treatment for overseas friends and family.
Dr Orekunrin, who claims to have founded Flying Doctors Nigeria by saving up her NHS junior doctor’s salary, allegedly flew to UK with her patient on British Airways – business class – days after the accident in March 2013.
It was said that she rang ahead to discuss the transfer, telling one QEH medic ‘not once but twice’ that the patient was a UK resident.
Dr Orekunrin denied this – but the tribunal panel ruled she had ‘provided untruthful information’ about his residency, which ‘ensured that he was admitted’.
It also found she misleadingly told them his burns were ‘superficial’ and he was ‘stable’. ‘This had a direct impact on the patient’s safety, as the burns unit was not prepared for the severity of Patient A’s injuries,’ ruled the panel.
Before his death following cardiac arrest, microbiologists discovered the patient was harbouring a potentially deadly superbug – a multi- drug-resistant strain of Acinebactor – and the QEH had to shut down part of the intensive care unit.
A ‘serious untoward incident’ was declared ‘due to the clinically unsafe manner in which the patient was transferred’, said a QEH spokeswoman, who added: ‘The patient had 40-50 per cent full thickness burns, was septic and suffering from multi-organ failure on admission.
‘Whatever medical intervention, it is our belief that the patient would have died from his injuries and subsequent complications.’
She said Dr Orekunrin’s information had been ‘grossly inaccurate’.
The patient’s bereaved family has now paid off £15,816 of the bill.
Dr Orekunrin –said she was appealing against the tribunal’s ruling. ‘I find the misuse of NHS resources utterly deplorable and completely unacceptable,’ she said. ‘Never, never, never, never would I support, condone or collaborate with any entity that tries to abuse this precious resource by treating people not resident in the UK.’
She insisted she had told a QEH doctor that the burns victim was to be treated as a private patient but said that he ‘misunderstood or misremembered our conversation.’
‘In conversation with him, I referred to the patient’s brother who was resident in the UK, and is an NHS consultant surgeon,’ she said.
‘He misunderstood this and wrongly thought I said my patient was resident in the UK.
‘I specifically asked the doctor if my patient could be treated as a private patient in QEH.’
Should her appeal fail, she will be suspended from the GMC register for six months.
Source: Daily Mail