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.