I was weak, tired and sick altogether, left my home as as early as 8pm on Monday morning, with the mindset of beating the traffic congestion to the closest general hospital at a far distance from my home - Apata General Hospital, Ibadan.
I knew with the kind of health complaints i had, i would need a test conducted on me, "well, i need a doctor's recommendation on that first", i said to myself. So i decided to see the doctor first.
Entering the Hospital, i have to get my file first,
"Hello, good morning, this is my card i need to see the doctor"
"is this your first time here?" a female voice from the record room
"No, although it has been a while i came here", i replied
"okay, you'll have to pay to the account dept first"
"alright, kindly show me the account dept" i requested.
She pointed in the direction and i went there, paid 200 naira and collected a receipt, then back to the record room.
"have your seat I'll attend to you" she said.
Okay, after about 15 minutes she requested both the card and the receipt then returned both after tearing a part of the receipt and using my card to find my file. I was then told to sit on a queue and wait for my name to be called by the doctor, it was almost 10:00am.
I have got about 6 patients before me, it wasn't a big deal until i had to wait and move closer to the consultation room on the seat until i heard the doctor call my name 2:10pm.
Is this how people get attended to here? I thought my suffering was over, not knowing I've just seen season one.
I explained the symptoms of my illness to the doctor and he recommended i have a blood test first.
Getting to the laboratory department, they said they can no longer obtain a sample for the day and I will have to come back the following day. I asked if it was possible that the sample is drawn and i can just come for the result the following morning. I was told that is not possible. I will have to come back to give the sample 8:00am the following day.
I was left with no choice, so i had to go back 8:00am on Tuesday
"Hi. I was told to come back this morning for a medical test"
I handed her the leaflet from the doctor.
"okay, it's 1500 naira, and you'll have to purchase a glove and a needle from the pharmacy"
I quickly did that,
"here is the glove and the needle", i said.
"okay, have your seat while we obtain your blood sample" - she replied.
The blood sample was obtained and i was told to come back 12 noon for the result.
Chai! will i have to waste half of a whole day here again?
The lab attendant saw the look on my face and told me -
"just hang-around and come back around that time".
Had to wait around and went back for my result 12 noon.
"Hi, am back for my result" - i said
"have your seat, it will soon be ready" - she replied
So, this result isn't even ready at 12 noon.
The test result was finally issued after 45 more minutes.
Dashed again to the Records room, explained and got my card to the doctor's office within 30more minutes. And that was almost 1:30pm.
Those on the queue for the day were already tired and lamenting the queue wasnt moving at all.
There were two doctors inside, one that attended to me the previous day and another doctor.
After some minutes the doctor that attended to me the previous day left and there was just one doctor in the consultation room.
"Why are you standing there?" - He asked
"I need to see a doctor sir" - i replied
"i have been here yesterday and was told by the doctor to go for a medical test, so am back with the result" - i further explained
"when was the test conducted?" - he asked
"the sample was taken 8:00am today and I was told to come for the result 12:00 noon, i just collected the test result, that's why i am here to see the doctor now sir" - i explained again
"they couldn't have said that, if you have been here earlier you would have been attended to" - he said
"but that was what i was told" - i replied
"You think those on the seats are fools?, i will make sure no one attends to you today, what is your name and give me your file"
i gave him my file and he immediately kept the file under some of the books on his table
"Go and stand outside, no one will attend to you today" - he screamed.
I had to just leave the premises in annoyance, frustration and unattended-to after all the sufferings.
If this is what has become of our medical care system, am afraid we are sitting on a time bomb because there are infections, diseases and sicknesses that are killing patients under the skin quietly and require urgent attention else the patient dies a quick painful death. Are these the hands we have on deck? Our Governors need to act fast! We never can tell who would be next in this kind of experience, our families, friends, colleagues, considering not everyone can be so buoyant to afford a private clinic and not everyone is so strong to withstand this in sickness.