Before LAUTECH TEACHING HOSPITAL becomes an abbatoir
Distinguished readers, as many as the dramas either tragic or comic that happened in the country over the past two weeks; several dramas also happened in the state of the virtue.
Apart from the confirmation of commissioner/special adviser nominees of 11months old administration of the sitting governor of the state, a list driven by political compensation and misplacement of offices, destruction of properties worth millions by flood and sudden creation of artificial dams on popular Ejigbo road whose construction has been completed on papers, they were other worse incidents in the state.
Few months ago when his excellency, Mr Gboyega Oyetola graced the state house of Assembly to defend the 2020 budget, he declared state of emergency on education and health inspite of billions previous administration where he served as the chief of staffs allocated to these two ministries. Truly, the deplorable state of facilities in campuses and hospitals calls for sober reflection and serious attention. The level of infrastructural decay in the state would make one wonder and ponder on what exactly happened to past funds allocated to these ministries. Were the funds gulped or they were “audio monies”?
Months after the public declaration of state of emergency in both sectors; Health and Education, the woeful tales of these sectors still thrive. Apart from the renovation of primary health centres such as new coats of paint on walls, provision of beds and repair of infrastructural facilities, there is no provision of drugs for public use which is one of the major challenges of the common people who find comfort in government hospitals. The terrible state of campuses in the state is disheartening, these schools have been neglected for years interms of infrastructure and subventions. The story of Osun students is indeed a sad one.
As the governor and his new cabinet members renew political alliance at the retreat organised in one of the biggest hotels in the state, I received two phone calls from different parts of the state. A student of one of the state institutions and a citizen of the state were the callers. The student was angry that the best student of the college was given #10,000 and an Oxford dictionary by the management of the college. He told me that the sum of #500000 was the initial fund to be handed over to the best graduating student but some forces who think that brilliancy is overrated drastically reduced the price from #500000 to #10,000. They ridiculed her brains and sold her brilliancy off the target. A wrong shot it was.
I consoled my good friend by citing case studies of colleges where best students recieve worse. Days of awaiting collar jobs and employment offers for brilliant students are gone, instead of recognising their efforts, they now ridicule their efforts with “heart-breaking rewards”. Now only horses without tails, God is also responsible for the welfare of these best students, I said.
Have I diverted so long? I sincerely apologise to ardent readers who refuse to be tired with my long essays. My former lecturer was the second caller. He sounded very sober and weak as he shared his sad experiences about LAUTECH TEACHING HOSPITAL.
He said, ” My wife had an appointment with the doctor and they both agreed for a surgery. We have paid all necessary bills and bought all materials and even some medical utilities needed for the surgery. We have already fixed a date with the doctor but to our great surprise, we got to the hospital and they told us that the surgery has been postponed till following week because they could not wash their “surgical coats” with washing machine due to unavailability of electricity to power the machines. A staff of the hospital told us and tens of people awaiting surgery and immediate medical attention”.
I could feel the grief, anger and hopelessness in his words. He was demoralised because his expectations were high. What can I say to console a man whose greatest treasure would be forced to go through pains for days because doctors could not wash “surgery coats”? I ended the conversation with prayers. Ki ni eni ti o n so aja le se ju ki o fun fere lo ( aside from whistle blowing, what else can a dog keeper do?)
I have had different encounters with state hospitals as a patient and guest which I have penned down in one of my articles titled “Thank You Iya Alagbo” but I feel depressed that issues I raised in the past remain unresolved till now. Inspite of the declaration of war and state of emergency on health and education by the present administration and “supposed monetary figures” allocated to these sectors, life-threatening matters like this still occur within the state especially in a leading state hospital.
Understaffing is one of the major challenges facing this hospital. Government needs to open her job portal to allow competent and ever ready nurses and doctors to apply. The number of patients outweighs the working capacity and strength of staffs especially substandard medical equipments available in the hospital. The hospital is densely populated and the population is a threat to dying facilities available for use. That is why the efforts in strengthening primary health centres should go beyond new coats of paints and provision of 20 hospital beds. These primary health centres must be able to take care of certain illness to avoid overpopulation in state hospitals.
People go to state hospitals for diagnosis and prescription of drugs which are not free. Several people have expressed their dissatisfaction over delay in laboratory test. I know quite a number of people who visit private hospitals owned by state medical doctors for tests. They fear delay and over-population poses a threat of “misidentity of samples”.
Existing state hospitals are characterised with terrible facilities, understaffing, substandard medical equipments and other serious challenges, one would have advised the government to build a new state hospital but who dares such in the face of river of known debts and oceans of unknown debts.
I visited Asubiaro teaching hospital, they asked me to pay #50 for hand-gloves which I did. Amidst harsh economy, people pay for these bills and I see no reason why they should be delayed to enjoy the services they paid for. I humbly appeal to Governor Oyetola to save the people of Osun state and state hospitals especially LAUTECH TEACHING HOSPITAL before it becomes an abbatoir.