Healthcare System in Nigeria; a Virtual Morgue
Health is wealth! This is a popular saying and its usage is very common among those who benefit from it and a mere saying to those who are not entitled to it.
Fair enough, being healthy is what everyone aspires to be, staying healthy has suddenly become a luxury, no thanks to the decay in the health sector, ranging from poor infrastructure to brain-draining and politicking.
Nigeria is a unique country when one considers her population, ethnicity, religions, etc. As at last count, there are over 170 million people, scrabbling to survive over approximately 900,000 square kilometres of geographic space.
The question is, how you cater for the needs of all these people with fair distributions of the very basic needs which includes but not limited to health.
Year-in-year-out, budgetary allocations are made by the health ministry, but very little is being achieved over the years. If you are a news freak like me, you would have been fed-up of hearing huge sums of money being allocated to this ministry. Either to build new healthcare centres or fund the existing ones, but the story has refused to change.
The saddest part is, humans are manning these ministries and agencies, when monies allocated are not judiciously used, and/or are not properly accounted for, they remain in office rather than resigning or being investigated.
Talking about the hospitals, people who claim to be professionals have rather embarked on a self-sustained mission rather than fulfilling the call to save lives.
Some are so unprofessional in the discharge of their duties as if they were compelled to do so.
You rush in a patient in an emergency and one would observe a lackadaisical attitude of some of the nurses as if they are not well paid, and the aggression is transferred to an innocent patient.
These are the common attitude one encounters in government-owned hospitals, which enjoys so many patronages from the poor who cannot afford the cost of patronizing private hospitals.
The private practises seem to have flourished taking into cognisance the fact that, the public and government-owned hospitals are not living up to expectations, either because they are not motivated by their employers (government), through increased remuneration or quality workspace or provision of better infrastructure and since the private practises seem to pay more because they are not strictly regulated, most practitioners tend to go private.
The government, on the other hand, seem to be overwhelmed with the burden of funding of several institutions most especially the healthcare sector.
Government officials could shamefully travel abroad for medical trips, wasting taxpayers money on what they could have easily fixed here in Nigeria.
It is as if the public hospitals are meant for the poor, the private ones are for the privileged, while overseas trips are for the rich.
Taking a sick person to the public hospitals is like visiting the morgue, because the chance of survival is slim, because of the way and manner the hospital attendants treat their patients, the facilities in the hospitals are of poor quality, things have gotten so bad that even the hospital in the state house, (Aso Villa) was lacking syringes and other basic things needed.