Cry Beloved Country

Reading about Ekene’s experience at LASUTH brought back sad memories of various experiences in the hands of medical professionals in Nigeria. I will admit that I have a pathological fear of medical personnel.

When I need the services of medical practitioners, I contact my friends who are highly placed in their institutions or close family members who are practitioners.

This is because I have experienced the callousness of medical personnel when I had emergencies and didn’t contact Oga at the top.

One case at LASUTH involved a young lady who was knocked down by a car that was driving in the wrong direction. The driver was forced to carry her and good Samaritans searched her phone and contacted my husband. She was the wife of an old school mate of sorts.

When we got there, she was bleeding thru her nose and ears! Emergency my foot! The doctors and nurses left her on a stretcher outside. We called for attention, to no effect. There was no senior doctor to assess her. I had to force my way to the doctors’ room and still no response. They sat and chatted cool as cucumber while this lady lay unconscious. I called a senior doctor at LUTH and explained. He asked questions and asked me to give the phone to the young doctor who at first refused but later spoke to the senior consultant. When I was handed back the phone, the man told me I should just persuade them to attend to her. Since I was not a family member I could not ask her to be moved. By the time the husband came, it was late in the night.

They asked us to do scan, went to book at Eko Hospital, we were not allowed to carry her with a rented ambulance, we had to wait for their own. That means next day. Next day nothing happened until around noon, when the ambulance was eventually available.

We did scan and came back, the slow wheel of admission started, pay this, pay that, buy this, buy that, pay for theatre, etc! We even had to call other medical professionals outside LASUTH to assist in getting some of the materials. By this time the day was over again.

She was scheduled finally for surgery the next day. By the time they were ‘ready’ she was dead! They now started running around and trying to find who would break the news to us. The accident happened on a Sunday afternoon. She had spent Sunday night and Monday night unattended. She finally died around mid day Tuesday!

Wickedness runs in their veins unless ‘its man know man’.

When my dad was admitted there, it was because one of my brothers knew various consultants and one of his in-laws was a senior doctor there. Then we also had to do shifts in staying with him to attend to his personal needs or to call their attention which was given as their ‘majesty’ was pleased.

For now, Nigerian health care is a game of chance if you don’t have money, don’t know people and can’t or won’t pray.



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1 comment

  • where did we miss it..we got carried away with the oyinbo’s way of selling their values…
    they usually introduce their product as free…and when you are “hooked”on it they dictate their terms…The cost of health anywhere in the world is enormous…no individual can pay for health..not even our privileged wonder people seek divine protection. our leaders ßhould wake up to this reality…health is not a subject of political involves planning ,commitment and effective evaluation. How do you motivate a health personnel that is treated like any other civil servant not mindful of his or her obligations.I have the privilege of practising outside Nigeria even football stadia have separate parking slots for people on essential services but here you tell the police you are on essential service he is still asking for your particular subject.

    .I pray this issue is addressed holistically. Government I repeat has no business in running hospitals…let government be involved in policies governing the practise ,training of health personnel and quality assurance… can’t run the private sector faceless,without concern,care and passion where competition is the game.
    90percent of the personnel you find in public have no business being there…95percent are there because there is no where else to go ,have gotten to the peak with no prospect of promotion
    How do you explain the value system of a people who are interested in spending a fortune on funerals than helping the needy…a government that brings in 2 experts to conduct a cutting edge surgery instead of sponsoring the training of her health personnel…or a government that spends fortune on obsolete medical equipment or when they even get modern equipment,which is seldom there are no backup parts or technicians to maintain
    I love my country I no go inside am I go live and die