The Nigerian Health Care system is one I've seen and heard people worry about. A couple of weeks back, one of my fellow "corps member"; Sandra was hit by a motor cycle aka okada.
You should have seen her, it was not a pretty sight. What I still can't believe is that her so-called sympathizers also assisted in stealing her money. As they say, this is Lagos! Shine your Eye!
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That day, I decided to play the role of good Samaritan by driving her to the Primary Health care clinic near our local government office. On getting there, communicating with the security guard was quite a task as he did not understand a word of English or my non-accent Yoruba. I've really got to learn this Yoruba language oh!
At 9am, the reception area is deserted, we had to walk to the "consulting room" which looked more like the admission ward to me. Anyways, the matron seemed quite upset we walked in there and leads us back to the reception area where Sandra was registered and attended to.
At the pharmacy which could have passed for a broom cupboard, as soon as we walk in, the lady tells us to wait outside the room that she's busy. Busy doing what you might ask. . . (dramatic pause). . . EATING! And here was a patient who was in need of medication. We literally had to wait 18 minutes for her to finish. Then in the process of giving the drugs, she says we have to pay five hundred Niara and my reaction is:
1. It's a public hospital
2. NYSC corps members are to use government owned hospitals because its free for them there.
Yes its just =N=500 but i do not like to be cheated. After giving the money, Sandra complains she's still in pain, the pharmacist then turns to me and says "eh will you go outside and buy her paracetamol and phenegan for injection?"
Say what?!!! Outside is Sura market! Where am I supposed to find such among the yam and pepper sellers?
On the way out, I asked for a receipt for the =N=500 (you don't know me) so I could get a refund from the NYSC office. You should have seen the uproar the woman and her co-workers went in. Apparently, they don't give receipts. They were quick to collect their drugs and tell us to go to the staff clinic where they might not have any of the drugs but could give us a receipt. In the meantime, the clinic smelt like a BUKA!
After this experience, I no longer blame people who go to private hospitals and don't mind paying an arm and a leg (maybe that's not the right term here). I don't blame people who don't mind paying through their noses or even owe hospitals money all in the name of GOOD HEALTH CARE.
As they say health is wealth. x