By Jeffrey Igbinigie

“I have lived in 4 different countries outside Nigerian shore, 3 of them; France, Holland and United States briefly and extensively in United Kingdom but I knew they all offered their citizens the best of healthcare.

I will restrict my post today to what I know about UK culture, excellent healthcare facilities and services given to their citizens through National Health Services  NHS.

In 1997,I was diagnosed of Appendicitis and reported myself to our family doctor here in Nigeria, the man a Chief Consultant in a state hospital looked at me and gave me a quick verdict,you have appendicitis but its not ripe enough, he didn’t bother to check thoroughly.

Few weeks later I arrived in London and the pain was excruciating and becoming unbearable to cope with,my junior sister suggested we go to General Practice GP close to our house in Ladbroke Grove W10, the Indian Doctor on duty after few checks referred me immediately to Accident & Emergency Saint Mary Paddington for quick attention.

That very night after all diagnosis and tests; MRI,CT Scan and blood tests,I was admitted and next day, I had surgery on the Appendicitis and Umbilical Hernia,remember our family doctor in Nigeria informed me the Appendicitis was not ripe enough and didn’t even know I had Umbilical Hernia which could have caused grievous damage if unattended to for long.

Mid 2012 ,I was in Abuja and noticed I was  having some serious condition again,told my junior brother to just drive me to airport. Landed in London and went straight to Accident & Emergency University College London Hospital UCLH Euston and I was diagnosed and informed I needed Colo-Rectal surgery immediately, got admitted and operation was successful.

In those two situations, I saw first class healthcare and treatment. Let me make it clear in all the two situations, no one asked for payment deposits before I was treated and they did not bother if I am a British citizen or not.

Averagely from admission to surgery,  slight recuperation and discharge from hospital it takes 5 days,wait for it,as a patient you are served 3 course meals for breakfast,lunch and dinner plus two coffee breaks with snacks in between daily.

After the third day when the consultant or doctors are satisfied with your progress, certified and confirmed that you are fine, no one like Hospital Administrators come to bother you about cost of health care and treatment, if they now find out your status and you are not eligible then the total cost is free and borne by the NHS. ”  – A friends experience aboard


Now let us come back to Nigeria, even if the patient is gasping for breath and on the throes of death,Hospital Administrators here will ask you to go and purchase one card to start with,you have to pay a deposit at the end of the day you might even be wrongly diagnosed because the MRI and CT scan equipment are not functioning or due to power outage .

In the middle of it all, the patient dies due to lack of proper healthcare, maladministration and insensitivities of leaders or administrators. I think our leaders should begin realise now, provision of good healthcare to their citizens should be paramount and a necessity.

One aspect for me now , is when i see folks living abroad,enjoying first class healthcare and treatment, governed by leaders who thinks about citizens ,but will now for reasons best known to them applaud our leaders for paying workers salaries,exporting yams abroad,building classrooms and also hailing the fact that one retired Justice is now brought back to head one committee on corruption trials which is skewed,selective, extremely sectional and only against opposition elements and opponents of current administration.

I was told health is wealth, hopefully our leaders will appreciate that statement and imbibe it in the discharge of their duties.

Just thinking

© Political Pundit

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