Stories of accident victims and other patients dying in the emergency ward due to lack of bed space remains a worrisome phenomenon in Nigeria health care services.
Although government-owned hospitals are known for their ability to deliver affordable and qualitative healthcare services, the “No-Space syndrome” can be said to be a major defect in the management of these hospitals.
Unfortunately, as this trend worsens due to poor emergency services, accident victims, who could have been saved and become worthwhile to the growth of this country, are lost to avoidable deaths on a daily basis.
Among other reasons to this, the attitude of medical practitioners in the face of emergency could also be said to be very appalling. When Healthfacts.ng visited the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) on Monday, we met various patients who needed medical assistance loitering the walkways due to one reason or the other.
Speaking to some of these patients, we were able to gather that most patients faced a common issue. They were either faced with the challenge of unavailable bed space or doctors not being available to attend to them.
Speaking on the reason for such scenarios, a patient who preferred to remain anonymous shared his story. He and his dad which he brought had come all the way from Ikorodu with a referral letter to LUTH to receive treatment. He had earlier been diagnosed with a pile and chronic cough.
”I and baba had to come down from Ikorodu as early as 5a.m in other to be attended too on time, but as it seems now (11; 15 a.m) we haven’t even seen any sign of a doctor and we don’t know if we’d be attended to today”
He further stated that this isn’t the first time he’s experiencing such and that he wasn’t even sure if a bed space would be provided after consultation.
The Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) is a Federal Government owned tertiary health care provider located in Idi-Araba, Surulere Lagos. LUTH employs thousands of workers and they range from the highly specialized consultant doctors to cleaners, and all work in tandem to ensure that the patient has a memorable experience during their treatment and rehabilitation in the hospital.
For some, the belief isn’t entirely unfounded as LUTH currently boasts, by a wide margin, of the highest amount of specialist doctors in any Nigerian hospital and thus patients are guaranteed knowledgeable professionals in their search for resolution of specific illnesses. Others believe LUTH to be the devil’s own receptacle, hence the saying; “You only go to LUTH for treatment when you are ready to die”.
To the average observer of the Accident and Emergency department of LUTH, which is often the main point of entry into the hospital, there appears to be an awful amount of death going on as every other half-hour, you see a corpse getting wheeled out and all you see is either the bustle of the relatives of those hanging on to life by a thread or the sorrow of relatives who have just lost a loved one.
The truth about any hospital is that not all the patients that come in are going to leave alive and what every hospital does is to maximize the chances of survival of their patient. However, the issue seems to be on a high side with state-owned hospitals. It almost seems as if the government hasn’t been carrying out their duties in this sector.
All of these have left Nigerians asking various questions.
What is the government doing about this?
Do we Have a Minister of Health in Nigeria?
Where is Nigeria’s Money Going to?
Is the Health Sector Not important?
When are they calling off their strike?
Isn’t this Affecting patients?
Please, these questions deserve answers!