By Pius Adesanmi
(He came to me to unburden and unload inbox because of what Nigeria is doing to him. He is a medical doctor practicing his trade in Nigeria. I am a teacher practicing my trade outside of Nigeria. Nigeria is killing us both and the doctor came to unload on the teacher. For respite. For therapeutic healing. My doctor friend, your unloading is adding to my own death. Alas, I have no cure for you. I can only upload your missive here unedited. I will not post your name for you name names in your outburst and the powerful can come after you…)
Good morning Prof. God bless you for your write ups. I read most of your write ups at least in my relaxed mood, off duty
Sir, I will like you to write something critical about the Nigerian health sector. We will all die before their so-called Vision 2020. Nigerians can’t afford 3 square meals, let alone treatment abroad. I’m typing and crying at same time sir. I will be happy if you could put a write up to let people know the rot in our health sector.
I’m a doctor in a federal hospital, I haven’t cried the way I did in the last couple of days, not because of losing patients cos we don’t even lose patients like that in my wing of practice-obstetrics &gynecology, except the cancer cases. I never thought of leaving this country until last week. Many doctors have left this country. The few of us who have summoned the courage to stay and help our people are having a second thoughts.
Sir, any patient with a diagnosis of cancer has more or less received a death sentence! In a country with about 170million people, only 2 radiotherapy treatment machines are working and they are not even fully functional sir. Most of my patients who need this therapy often die before their turn. Imagine somebody being scheduled for radiotherapy for 6months cos of waiting list!
Prof, we are doomed!!!. It is not that these legislators are not aware, but they don’t have the sympathy for the poor. Last week a patient travelled from Lagos to Ekiti for Cs because she’s on NHIS cos it is free. She has had 2cs before which put her at risk of rupturing her womb and instant death. She dared the devil and travelled to Ekiti. Unfortunately, NHIS could not give her a single drug or material. She had to spend money again (some on credit) to get her operation.
Sir, I know our strike also did not help matters, but we felt it is the only way to compel the government to do the needful. In Nigeria, there are two postgraduate colleges. One is the National Postgraduate College of Nigeria and West Africa College. These two issue certificates and train doctors to a specialist level. Unfortunately, none of them is recognized beyond the West Africa sub region, despite the way the medical directors have been using it to prune the wings of doctors who could challenge them. This is why many are leaving the country.
Many of my classmates are in the UK, USA, Australia, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago and are practicing ideal medicine. If our president can’t seek treatment in Nigeria, then we shall all die soon. If only Osinbajo could face the health sector in a week with EFCC! We may be better off. We need EFCC and Osinbajo to look into the activities of these thieves and let our people benefit from health care. We are tired. I will be leaving this country soon!
Editor’s Note: Prof. Pius Adesanmi originally titled this op-ed ‘A Medical Doctor in Search of Healing’. The original post ‘as is’ can be read on Prof. Pius Adesanmi’s Facebook timeline.