Saturday, 03 September 2011 17:45

If You Had A Choice Would You Go To A Nigerian Doctor?

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This essay asked the question that many Nigerians probably ask: would you prefer a Nigerian professional to professionals from the other races to provide the services that you desire? If the answer is no, as it probably is, why is it the case that Nigerian professionals are third rate? What can be done to make them first rate. The paper asked questions without proffering answers. You, the reader, could provide the needed answers!

 

Over the weekend I told a friend that a cousin’s wife recently died after she had gone into diabetic coma and was rushed to a hospital at Lagos and the doctors essentially did nothing to save her. The friend told me that he, too, has diabetes and that one of the reasons he is living in the USA is to have access to good medical treatment for his medical condition and that if he was in Nigeria that he would have been long gone. He expressed sympathy that my cousin’s wife did not have the opportunity to go overseas for treatment. In effect, this man told me that he has no confidence in Nigerian doctors to treat him. With his feet he voted what he believed: Nigerian medical practitioners are quacks!

After our conversation I thought about what the man said. More importantly, I asked me whether if I had a choice I would go to a Nigerian medical practitioner. I told me to be honest and respond honestly, aware of the ramification of my response.

In my experience Nigerian medical doctors have a lackadaisical attitude towards their profession and do not care for their clients. I recall when as kid I had an accident and my parents rushed me to Igbobi orthopedic hospital at Yaba and the doctors insisted on money before they would do the bone grafting operation that was needed to patch up my broken bones. My father had to come up with tons of money to pay the corrupt doctors before I was treated. In effect, if we did not have the money they would not have treated me and one of my limbs would have been cut off as a result of their lack of caring, their inability to live up to the Hippocratic oath that they took to do no  harm and to treat all persons in medical emergencies.

As we speak, Nigerian hospital emergency rooms do not treat people brought to their ER until some money exchanges hands. If you do not have the resources to pay corrupt Nigerian medical doctors you might as well forget receiving the shoddy treatment these so-called medical practitioners provide their patients.

I have had enough experience with Nigerian medical practitioners to form an opinion about them: I would not trust them with my life. To call those folks medical doctors is to make a mockery of the term medical doctors; they are simply out to make money from the medical profession but not there to heal any one.  Nigerian medical doctors are bad news and if one can one should avoid them like the plague. See, rich Nigerians go overseas to seek medical treatment rather than risk being treated by the killers that go by the name of medical doctors in Nigeria.

Is what I said above not a gross over generalization? Have I seen all Nigerian medical practitioners to make such a sweeping statement about them all? I have not seen all Nigerian medical doctors and logically should not talk about all of them. Be that logic as it may, I am not willing to find out if some Nigerian medical doctors are good by going to all Nigerian medical doctors with my medical issues. I have had enough experience with a reasonable sample of them to know what they are like and I am not willing to take chances with them. Dead people do not live to tell if experiments turn out true or false. (In statistics you take a reasonable sample of a population and study its behavior, and from that make a generalization of what the population is like; a sample of a thousand Nigerians can tell us what most Nigerians do.)


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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176