Overhauling, equipping, renovation and construction of Nigerian government hospitals and Health Sector
Agriculture as was discussed in part one, sustains human and animals’ existence, apart from the supply of other valuable services, such as provision of job opportunities to many, without which human and animals’ existence would have short down. It is also apparent without any ambiguity, to state that health is as important as food. Of course, one who has appetite for food is certainly a healthy individual.
America for example, takes proper health care of its citizens as long as their taxes are paid .Canada, in her own case, provides and ensures that Medicare is paid for, through taxes and; there is no cost when you use medical care and the medical insurance provided by the government is governed by the provincial governments(https://canadianvisa.org).Canadian Canadian government competently organises Health education programmes where all citizens participate and get educated on how to avoid injuries and offer a more proactive approach to general health issues so that ailments are detected earlier, thereby reducing health the impact of health hazards; the programme is fully funded by the Canadian government. Do we have a similar programme in Nigeria? In the same vein, Saudi-Arabia provides free of charge health care to all citizens and expatriates working in the public sector, primarily through the Ministry of Health and augmented by other governmental health facilities. In fact, health care has been seen as a right (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov ).
On two occasions, when the writer visited Saudi-Arabia during Hajj operation and fell short of health, without missing words, the writer was treated free at the King Abdul Aziz’s Hospital, Saudi Arabia, on showing his international passport. Stephen, Yousef Al-Harbi and Badran Al- Omar affirmed that another unique aspect of healthcare in Saudi Arabia is that, every year, the country serves more than five million pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Masjid in Makkah and Saudi government provides free health services through the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Ghana shares almost the same view of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) where what refers to ‘out of pocket’ that amounts to 50 percent funding by individual is mandatory. The progressivity of health financing is driven largely by the overall progressivity of taxes, which is amount to 50 percent(Akazili, Gyapong and Mclntyre 2011) It is critically observed here that, with the health situations in most African countries, no nearness of analogous compared what is obtainable in countries like Saudi-Arabia, America, Canada….to mention but a few! Akazli et’al asserted that African countries face many challenges in health care financing as it includes out-of-pocket payments.
The author of this piece is a registered member of NHIS, in Nigeria but is very unfortunate that, even for once, he has never being a beneficiary of the programme; despite the deduction of NHIS fee from his monthly salary; and having made several attempts to benefit from what he deserves. In fact around 2018, at the designated hospital, the frustration by the hospital made the writer to back out from NHIS programme. Talking about the haphazardness situations of most Nigeria governments’ hospitals is symbolically sympathetic.
In some cases, private hospitals inclusive. Sometimes, the number of patients awaiting doctors’ consultation outnumbers the number of the available medical doctors in governments’ hospitals and the repercussions are obnoxiously glaring on patients, as lamented by many patients when some doctors wrongly prescribed some drugs to some of the patients. This was evident on a popular Nigeria radio programme of Human rights radio (Brekete) sometimes in January,2020.
Aside this, some of the medical doctors would always browse on internet before giving prescription to determine the next line of action, which is, of course, detrimental to the health of the patients. This practice hanky-panky incompetency is very rampant in both government and private hospitals.
Another disgusting practice of some medical doctors is the attitudinal gestures extended to patients due to personal or selfish interest. They will deliberately make referral to a private hospital that belongs them where extorting the patients is unquestionable, unlike in government hospital. This outrageous act does not exclude some pharmacists who connive with private pharmaceutical shops. The corrupt practice stages when drug prescription is made by the doctor, on getting to the pharmacists, out of five been prescribed, behold, either one or two would be available; the rest three could be gotten only at his personal pharmaceutical hob. What a country are we in?
God does not create anything in vain; certainly, He Creates everything purposefully .The Glorious Qur’an states: (Q23:115) Then, did you think We created you uselessly and that Us you would not be returned? Now that COVID 19 has visited the whole world, including Nigeria. Our leaders should upgrade their logic or method of reasoning. Charity they say begins at home. The issue of going to India, America, Germany and even South Africa for medical attention should be a bye-gone issue, if not then, the high time is now. Let federal government renovate to a world standard, all the existing government hospitals, get them equipped, and replace all worn out or outdated instruments and medical equipment for the sake of humanity, and preferably, because accountability before their Lord is real. So sure we are that if COVID19 had started in Nigeria, only God knows what we common peasants would have turned to. The usual way of our leaders and most of the affluent personalities would have left us in so much a deplorable condition, by relocating abroad, and undoubtedly with their nuclear family members; and by extension, extended families which may include their in-laws as well.
The state governments need to rise up too and have concretised concerted efforts to have standard hospitals belonging to states and local governments where doctors’ salaries will no longer be common pea-nuts. How are we not sure that common local government chairmen’s monthly salaries do not supersede or even over ride those of medical doctors, who, have spent at least, five years in the university, one year houseman ship, and a compulsory one year youth service? What certificate does a local government chairman possess? For some, just secondary school certificate! Yet chains of cars accompany them to functions and even to their in-laws’ houses, disturbing the vehicular movement of the innocent but less privileged citizenries endangering their lives by causing fatal accident, sometimes death as it happened along Airport road via Kuje junction, Abuja.
It is no more news that considerable number of Nigerian medical doctors have relocated abroad and become permanent residents. What a misplacement priority of opportunity?!That reminds me of a proverb that says: those who have caps do not have heads to wear the caps; while those who have heads lack caps to wear. To me, the presence of COVID 19 is a strong signal, parable, a drawer of attention and a time to re-think in order to re build our nation: health wise, education wise, infrastructure wise, economic wise; and utmost important, our political setting.
It is my candid opinion, which I tend to believe is also the opinion of many well-meaning Nigerians, that if Nigerian politicians sit up and have the love of ‘we’ their subjects or followers at hearts and the love of the our country, (Nigeria), a positive attitudinal change will be noticed as selfish and egoistic interest will varnish from their hearts. Of what paramount importance is our National pledge to most Nigerian leaders?’To be faithful, loyal and honest, to serve Nigeria with all my strength….’Where lies the faithfulness, the loyalty and honesty? Hasn’t this become a mere song?! Oh LORD of change, it is high time you changed their hearts for good, else, from them seize the mighty you have borrowed them and make a better replacement! ‘One voice can change a room, says Barack Obama’.
Angela Jiang asserted: A good leader must hate the wrong thing more than they hate the pain of doing the right thing. Why is it that that many Nigerian leaders have been acting against the above assertion? Doing the opposite, instead remains a hobby to them. Majority of the leaders prefer to hate doing good things, rather, they prefer to perpetuate wrong things. If not, why would they seek medical attention abroad, leaving our home based hospitals in dilapidated conditions? Has there been any time when Germans, Indians, Americans, Chinese, Egyptians, Canadians have ever come to Nigeria to seek medical attention? If yes, when? And if the answer is no, why? After all, many Nigerian medical doctors practicing abroad are said to be performing excellently well even more than the citizens, abroad!
On the other hand, I blame heavily, many Nigerian voters who, because of one thousand naira, sold their own future and the future of their yet unborn generations. Left for me, if politicking is a Paradise, I will not enter into it, except if there is room for amendments, corrections and executing the good things that are ought to have been done. Since 1966, what plausible success has Nigeria recorded as a nation? Delegating power is the primary duty of the followers, so wrongly choice we have been making because many are money mongers. The Bible says: But select capable men from all the people-men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain-and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens(Exodus 18:21)
On the whole, traits of good leadership can be borrowed from any religion, continent, ideology, people etc. Capitalism is known for its exploitative jeopardy as followership in abject poverty is embraced by those who emulate the school of thought.
Nigeria, sometimes wisely used an economic window called ‘Sukuk’ for construction of roads: Abuja-Lokoja –Abaji, Abuja-Minna, Kaduna-Kano are typical zonal road constructions under the Islamic window of Sukuk. Besides, JAIZ bank operates Islamic system of banking and there are considerable beneficiaries without religious bias. Ezad et’al(1) postulated that leadership is important in regulating for a better and more secure human life as a process that mobilises an individual or society to achieve the desired objectives such as building a society or state.
Without being biased, the best exemplar among mankind is Prophet Muhammad (SAW).The Qur’an says: and There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah, an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah the Last Day and (who) remembers Allah often (33:21).Michael H. Hart’s book, titled The100: A Ranking of the Most Influential persons in History, first edition 1978 and second edition in 1992,is an attestation to borrowing traits of good leadership.
In conclusion, if at the end of the whole dramatic pandemic flaw of COVID 19,Nigerian government is unable to improve greatly, on all the current conditions of our government hospitals, medical doctors, nurses and pharmacists; and set on good pace our education sector generally, and tertiary institutions in particular to take the bull by the horn to end abruptly the disgusting and unending ASU’s strike, I pray that we will not need to go and wake up the likes of Mungo Park, Tafawa Balewa, Sardauna, Nnamdi Azikway.May God touch the hearts of our leaders forward onward movement but never backward. Help our country O God of Creation!