Early last week, I decided to follow my advice to my patients to do medical checks at least once a year. I decided against a nearby private medical centre because of the cost, and also because I wanted to have a feel of what public health care looks like in Lagos personally. I went to the same General Hospital in Gbagada where my Dad was admitted and died in more than two years ago. It was two days after the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU resumed activities at government-owned health facilities nationwide following another protracted strike to draw the attention of an unyielding Nigerian government, represented by medical doctors, as Minister of Health and Minister of Labour, to their demand; and as usual the hospital was besieged with an influx of patients from far and wide. It is instructive to note, that throughout my visit, I had contact, mainly with members of this union, one way or another till finally I met the doctor, to show how important their contribution is to the hospital setup, and why without denigrating the position of the doctor as head of the "health team", government should at least look to improving their condition of service, even if it means commensurately improving that of the doctors as consequence. When I told the records staff, who asked about my complaint, or the department I wished to attend, that I'd come for a Routine Medical Check Up, she repeated the question, like it wasn't reason enough to come to a hospital, and only reluctantly wrote same in my file, because I had no other reason to give her. I was impressed though by the effort the hospital put in place to ensure that nobody beat the line, or queue, by ensuring that a staff properly arranged patients on seats provided, from which patients were to stand to get registered only when it was their turn. That way, waiting time, with the motley of crowds present, was reduced to thirty minutes. Payments, with receipts issued at all points were electronic or semi-electronic, abolishing any form of stealing by low level staff to the barest minimum. I also noticed the way the staff courteously refused patients' demands at the reception, even when some of the patients were unruly, in trying to jump the queue, or court other favours ahead of those before them by invoking their pitiable health conditions as excuse. Next stop was two floors up to the right, from the reception downstairs, where I waited with others to be attended to by two nurses, and a laboratory scientist. Again there was a sitting queue, which lasted about an hour for me. The nurses asked a few health related questions, checked blood pressure and took blood for Random Blood Sugar Test, while the Lab guy swiped same blood from the prick for an HIV test, which was free and optional. I hadn't done one in two years, and seeing as I haven't been too discreet in recent times, I opted to get tested. I had to wait outside the bay with others afterwards to see the doctor, now that an issue with my heart had come up (though not surprisingly), but soon recalled by the lab scientists, when my HIV test result was ready. He, in a very low tone, asked me what I knew about HIV and AIDS, infection modes, how lately I had had unprotected sexual intercourse with someone that wasn't my wife, amongst other related questions before he eventually showed me my result, instructing that I repeat same in another three months. I surmise that it's hardly ever the result that brooks tachycardia, as much as the talk and counselling that precedes it. With the lightheartedness that followed the clean bill from the lab scientist, I made my way to see the doctor, when my name was called. Dr. Gani Kale, a young and amiable guy, you can tell by the way the nurses swooned around him or seemed to easily do his bidding, was pleased to see me. He made it really easy for one to talk, while he simply listened and proffered solutions. Patients outside who weren't booked to see him, weren't too happy with the nurses, and I understood why after seeing him. After checking my blood pressure a second time, there was no escaping my verdict, my lifestyle had eventually caught up with me, at my so young an age. I would go on mild anti-hypertensive dose for two weeks, and return for further observations. He then wrote a lab form for me to go do a lipid/cholesterol test, the result of which I got after two hours, and again aced in flying colours. Lol. Back to Dr. Kale, I got a prescription for my ailment, and another for my arthritic knee (for free), and an introduction to other doctors who didn't know me because I'd left med school like what seemed forever. I smiled at the young faces, shook hands with one, waved at the others for their considerable help and cooperation, which I actually didn't go out of my way to court, yet they willingly availed me. I contemplated my mortality by reason of the ever increasing greying of my hair, in comparison to the youthfulness I beheld of these peers of mine. I had taken the day off because of what I had heard about government hospitals, but apart from the fact that I had to wait for two hours for my lipid test results, I would've been done by noon of that day. I was happy with that experience, and besides the not too pleasant condition of the gents, occasioned by water or plumbing challenges that part of the hospital I attended seem to be having, it sure was a visit to write home about, and recommend for you as well. 'kovich ROUTINE MEDICAL CHECK UP https://madukovich.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/routine-medical-check-up/

Published by m'khail madukovich