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Ivy O: Let’s Talk About Your Experience at Nigerian Hospitals

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dreamstime_l_33292090Nobody likes to fall sick. Not even if it’s a “simple” headache. Some people cope better than others in most cases. I fall into that category where every time I fall sick, it’s always a tad bit dramatic. My mum always teases me that I always get emotional. I always cry. It’s the feeling of helplessness that gets to me. I had a slight tummy ache on Sunday, so I decided to sleep it off. By Monday morning, I woke up feeling woozy. I still struggled to go to school. Thirty minutes into the lecture, I had to excuse myself. As I made the usual walk home, I called my boyfriend who happened to be close by, that I was feeling really down. He told me to stay put and 10 minutes later he was by my side.

We walked to the closest Boots store, by this time, I couldn’t stand straight or walk without help. Before the Boots staff could get help, I was already in tears, clutching the right side of my belly. As a staff spoke to whoever was supposed to send an ambulance over the phone, and they kept asking me questions like “Have you had a baby in the past 7 days?” even though I had just told them I was on my period, I wondered if I was going to die being asked questions I deemed irrelevant while I was in excruciating pain. We got a cab instead, and drove straight to the Accidents and Emergency ward.

It took a while (or so it seemed to me) before I was finally properly attended to, after which I was asked the same set of questions the ambulance person asked. It turned out that I had an infection in my kidney, so I was admitted. Over the next couple of days, the nurses came to check on me round the clock. Some of them were student nurses from my school and we made small talk. Every morning my jug of water was changed, I was given a clean supply of soap, toothpaste, comb, and the likes, and my vitals were taken CONSTANTLY. The buzzer was working, I didn’t have to yell for nurses. When I had to go for an X-Ray, CT-Scan and Ultra sound, the porters came promptly, wheeled me to the location, when I was done my reports were put at the back of the wheelchair and read to me back at my ward. The nurses and doctors were so nice. “Should I help you up me love?”, “Do you need a blanket mi lady?” “Would you like a sandwich darling?”
I couldn’t take oral drugs and had take pain killers anally (I felt violated, by the way); but for every time I had to take my meds up my ass hole or got a needle in my arm or tummy, I was asked for permission first, and they still apologised later, even if it was for my own good. As for the meal times, I’m not big on oyinbo food (a pinch of salt qualifies as spicy to them). I only took tea and ice cream from them and that was to give my mum who took over from my boyfriend after some days. Best of all, everything was free, as an international student, I was covered by my NHS. All they needed was my name and date of birth to dig up my NHS number.

I am talking about this because this is my first hospital experience outside Nigeria and now I understand why anybody who can afford it will leave Nigeria to a foreign country for treatment. It’s never a good experience in Nigerian hospitals. From the always angry nurses in government hospitals screaming “Madam steady ya yansh, if you no want injection others dey wait me”, to the non-professional treatment you will receive even from the unnecessarily expensive private hospitals. Don’t even get me started on record keeping. If I had a dollar for the number of times I’ve had to buy a new patient card in the same hospital because they couldn’t find the old one.

I spoke to my sister this week and she gave me the gist of how a cousin who lives with us suddenly became bloated and his eyes rolled back and he was rushed to Maitama General hospital around 9pm. They had to get him a card before he was attended to. The doctor who finally came reeked of alcohol with red eyes and prescribed drip. My siblings went round the hospital to get water but they couldn’t so they drove out to buy. When they wanted to drive back in, the gateman yelled “Na why una go dey waka up and down this night? Una no know say cold dey?” My sister told him it was a hospital and she could go out again if she needed to. To which the gateman replied “Na hin be say na una go open gate by una self”. When they got in, the doctor charged them 2500 Naira. My sister told him she would pay at the cashier but he refused and said not to worry, she should give him the money and he would give the cashier. After my cousin’s dose of drip, he was asked to go back home. My sister asked about running tests and he said no need. Even if they wanted to, the “machine” wasn’t working.

From these two stories, I have racked my brain as to what the problem is with Nigerian hospitals. Is it that the salaries are low? Or the staff are overworked? Or the Health system as a whole is just at its worst? While in my ward, I overheard a man whose wife was sick yelling at the doctor “This health system does not work!” I chuckled on my bed. This uncle didn’t understand that he was having it so good. I was tempted to ask him to fly his wife to Nigeria for treatment.

Why are most Nigerian nurses so grouchy, or purposely sitting down not doing their jobs? Even most shows and movies portray them as gossips, that goes to show how idle they can be. I need answers to these questions. What has your Nigerian hospital experience(s) been like?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Ivy is a certified nerd who is terrible at writing bios and great at taking selfies. When she isn't eating or studying, she is most likely to found on Twitter

73 Comments

  1. Que

    February 2, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Haven’t even read the article, but my first thought as i caught the headline was…”..O the can of worms are about to roll out!!!.”…

    let me go and read now…

  2. anonymous

    February 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Let me give my opinion as a Europe trained doctor working in Nigeria. I have not been paid salary for 3months now, I don’t have proper equipments to work with; sometimes ordinary gloves are luxury and i’m exposed to different diseases everyday, meanwhile the hazard allowance doctors receive is just N5000naira daily(i can show anyone my payslip if u wanna verify), I know the right tests to run but I won’t order for them anyway ‘cos it’s either my patients can’t afford them or the hospitals don’t have the machines to run them. Coming to work daily is a struggle because I am not happy working in a risky environment, yet without pay. My siblings don’t have jobs,my parents are being owed pension for 4months….meanwhile our leaders dish out billions of taxpayers money on frivolity everyday…..these are the reasons why I may not be too nice to my patients…I am not motivated…I am hungry and sometimes I am sick myself…but will force a smile on my face since I know my HOD may not give me sick leave……btw Mr. Fayose, when am I getting my november salary???? From a hungry Ekiti doctor

    • purplesivy5

      February 2, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Doctors are lucky to get 5000k daily hazard allowance . Radiographers get 5000k hazard allowance monthly. No radiation hazard allowance, no radiation monitoring devices.
      It is terrible.

    • Cocolette

      February 2, 2016 at 11:55 pm

      Doctors get 5k MONTHLY hazard allowance, not daily @ purple ivy

    • ATL's finest

      February 2, 2016 at 4:02 pm

      And why are U still there? I mean as a trained Dr, U can do better heading back to Europe! I’m just saying.. Well I feel your pain on behalf of my aunties who are Nurses in Nigeria. After all that Igbinedion University (Okada) fee, getting a Job was hell. finally one did & Lord the day I heard how much she was bn paid, I went straight to sleep. So sad & pathetic. Hang in there Ekiti Dr for your salary will be paid soon ( speaking by FAITH) Amen!

    • Que

      February 2, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      Ah…. its only in Naija that workers faith their salary!…
      Why dont authority figures recognise that toying with a worker’s wages equals inviting curse ontop your own head…. we will quote bible die, yet skip such crucial parts….

      Same goes for all you nuisance people who will be owing your workers/employee/service providers/handymen n women etc and be running to pay tithe, olodo, you’re shooting yourself in the foot….that na dead offering! Better pay UP!!!

    • anonymous

      February 2, 2016 at 4:48 pm

      I understand your frustration but I pretty sure has a human being if you nice then you are nice it doesn’t have anything to do with your salary but nurses’ attitude is disgraceful. And they fill entitled even in some private hospitals just because the doctors encourage them. Regardless of your profession, if you have it at the back of your mind that meet that your client elsewhere, whereby you might be the client and you definitely don’t want to be treated poor.

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      February 3, 2016 at 10:10 am

      Bia nwa..why did you come back from Europe? You see this idealistic children do not hear word! Why did you come back? See how you are wasting the resources your parents used to train you abroad in Nigeria, languishing with your knowledge. Now you don’t even have salary to cater for the poor old hardworking parents that gave you the best. If you stayed abroad, bad as e go bad you would have been able to send them money. See exchange rate na..When do you want this people to eat the fruit of their labor bikonu? When? Better find way and go back to Europe, look for job there like your life depends on it. Then bring all your siblings over. When you have settled you can then build a standard hospital in Nigeria to give back. How do all you idealistic people think you can give back when you are poor? Wetin you wan give back? msheeeew! Hian!

  3. we

    February 2, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    The professional service you got reminds me of Lagoon Hospital at Ikeja. They are very good.

  4. Onyx

    February 2, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Still can’t forget how the nurses were yelling at my wife when she was about delivering my daughter. I could have slapped them but was scared they would abandon my wife if I did that. I just wanted her and my baby safe. Its 3 years now and I can’t forget the experience. Saving up cash seriously for her to have our next child by the middle of this year in the abroad. God help us all.

  5. anonymous

    February 2, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Sorry…hazard allowance is N5000 monthly, not daily…I wish I never returned to Nigeria

  6. Kiiki

    February 2, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Last month, I was trying to get an MMR vaccine shot at a Teaching Hospital’s Community Health Center (apparently they are the only ones that give that type of vaccine for immigration purposes).

    I remember sitting at the Nurse’s desk for about 35-40minutes while she “made -up” in preparation for an event at UNILAG (code for owambe). She was also telling me how her daughter, “who is a very good makeup-artist”, has used up most of her products. ???. While ‘prepping’ up, she was also inviting her other colleagues for the ‘shindig)’.

    I had to stay put and even feigned a smile because I knew that the slightest show of irritation would have led to further delay in receiving the shot.

    What’s worse of was the despicable and utterly dirty + smelly environment for a hospital. I mean, one can literally leave that place with one or two diseases in tow. Tufiakwa!

    We go reach there Naija. I believe so.

  7. been there

    February 2, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    While your experience is one of many that may happen at a Nigerian hospital, its not the only one. there are good hospitals with great service

    there are hospitals with top notch excellent service (but beta soup na money kill am)
    i had my baby there and will do same for my other pregnancies and its my choice. i did my research and the hospital, a top notch specialist hospital (ob/gyn) somewhere at opebi, in lagos, has the best service ever.
    the record keeping is top notch, the nurses dont act rude and entitled like those in the general hospital, they helped me thru my recovery (and it was not because i tipped them) the doctors were fab. everything was just great. the equipment are the same as you have abroad, if you have a CS, they dont butcher and sew u up with permanent scars, etc. i have been recommending them to everyone. most recently a friend came down from the UK for a procedure there (and it had nothing to do with cost). For me nurses are one of the bedrocks of a great hospital

    However, I’ve also had terrible experiences at Nigerian hospitals, but i do my research and if the service is shoddy, i move. there is a big hospital in surulere, i also use cos of their pediatricians, the nurses are just mostly rude. i had to tell them off the last time, and got an apology (which is rare). and bad services is not only limited to nurses o! what of the pharmacists, doctors, lab technicians nko? (u can read this lady’s experience -www.neloshalo.blogspot.com.ng/2016/01/watch-out-for-cross-infection-at.html)

    i work hard so i have a choice. Any time i think back to how my late grandmother was poorly treated at LUTH over a decade ago, it makes me so sad but drives me to work harder. its terrible if you are already sick and have to beg and tip people to treat u well. God help us all.

    • Nuellla

      February 2, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Name of the hospital please …let’s not just make remarks pls call the names….#doitbigorgohome….

    • Chi

      February 2, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      St Ives specialist hospital, Opebi, Ikeja.
      It’s top notch

    • Bleed Blue

      February 2, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      St Ives hospital Opebi was were I got my first pregnancy news. I was super excited! Emotions sorted, logic took over. I started thinking of travel plans and whether my US visa dates would match my delivery date.

      So I asked if there was a possibility the doc (who I was meeting for the first time by the way) could determine when I conceived or how far gone I was.

      Guess what he asked me?

      “Why are you so bothered about when you conceived? Are you having extra marital affairs?”

      Sigh…?
      But this was 11years ago though. That doctor might have received some sensitivity training by now. Or wisdom from God. Or both.

    • purplesivy5

      February 2, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      Please what’s the name of the opebi hospital? I will love to try there for my ante-natal.

    • been there

      February 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      St. Ives specialist hospital opebi

  8. Sincere question

    February 2, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    BNers, can anyone list the names of best and worst hospitals on the island, preferably those from Ajah down to Epe so that I can know which to register under my HMO? Thank you

    • o

      February 2, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Except you work in a very big organization that values human lives and want the best for their employees, most of the hospitals on regular HMOs list are death traps. The HMOs don’t pay on time and the hospitals won’t take you if the case is very serious cos they are afraid they won’t get their money on time

    • Hephie Brown

      February 3, 2016 at 10:45 am

      DO NOT GO TO GERMAINE HOSPITAL, its at 4th Lekki roundabout!!

      My drama started in Uni. Unknown to me, i was allergeric to sulfonamides, sulpha or whatever. it is contained in septrine, and lots of anti malaris drugs, HESPECIALLY FANSIDAR. nobody told me, and i had malaria like almost every 3 months. each time i used it i would end up with a bloated itchy face and my lips would be twice the size, it would burn, like turn black, not dark, but black, and it would have rashes all over it and it would itch like hell. it was a disgusting sight.

      Trust students to use me as the butt of jokes. fansidar unfortunately was the only anti malaria supplied to my school clinic.the nurses and doctors told me it was my own special symptom of malaria. the sad part was everytime i had malaria with my lassa fever loking lip, it would leave the dark patch permanently. It was until they had a new doctor who who told me in 400 level!!! the causant of it and i got my deliverance.

      I still have my moustache looking face till today(not as bad as then)..in fact i think i grew some few strands of hairs on it.(or maybe i exaggerate)

      Ok to germaine hospital, I close it as HMO online, cos its close to my church, i assumed all hospitals in lekki area makes sense.From outside of the building, it looks like the ideal place to be! How i stayed for 3 days? day 1, i was in a semi coma/delirious state and placed on drip and not aware of the surroundings. sister came at night and we didnt look round well, there was no light. day 2 they promised me i was leaving but i was still on drip, i left on the third day.

      my temparature was even 40 when i got there, i was placed on admission straight up. The “room” i was put had this fat naked woman on the other bed separated by one flimsy excuse of a dirty curtain(no offence to the woman) she was really very awesomely fat, there was hardly ever light, so she was always half naked with her small wrapper covering the womanparts, she had scars all over her and i was forced to behold that sight for 3 days. she always has visitors who came and made noise in “konk” igbo or something. i think she’d been there 3 months We shared one fan and it was always facing her. my bedsheet i suspect was dirty and i think there was even blood stain on it.

      The bathroom OMG!!! toilet worse than a public toilet, didnt even have a seat and you will have to carry bucket to flush. i had to go protest and i went to another ward which is way better and only for patients on gold plan just to pee! the walls had stains all over and it had a funny smell! the entrance was so small im a 5″7 and i had to bend to enter, and it had no door or door frame. the small space before you go from the room to the bathroom was stacked with things that belong in a junkyard.

      Lastly there was only light between 8-5. After that, nothing. Imagine being on treatment for typhoid and malaria/tonsilitis and mosquito is chopping your destiny. It was hot and i was practically crying out in gibberish from heat and discomfort for the two nights. they did not offer me food once or ask if i had eaten. I was supposed to do a test day 3, they didnt allow me eat 24 hours before, with all d drips and injection administered!

      They wanted me to stay an extra day lmao

      The other good hospital i know is in lekki tho. That’s how the mumu doctor in Vedic too said he will not write me a sick leave cos im strong enough to go to work with malaria and typhoid o), even when another doctor examined me 2 days later and banished me from work and i think its cos i didnt allow him prezz brezz(i complained of a lump and i said i wasnt ready to be examined)

  9. Grace

    February 2, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    If i say mine ehen, you will cry but i will just say it is to attending to you,or running a test or giving you a report of your health issues be it bad or good,or you even paying with your hard earn money?,”Our government and private clinics are the worst in the world that is just it.” Go abroad if you can afford.

  10. Yewande

    February 2, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I agree. The health care system is terrible in Nigeria but I hope and pray that it will get to the standards of the health care system in developed countries.

  11. Somebody

    February 2, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    1 nurse on duty to 30 women in the maternity ward, pregnant, jes had cs or in labour, many State Governments offer free maternal services and women from other states come to these states to deliver yet they refuse to employ young vibrant midwives leaving the hospitals with old tired matrons, it is frustrating mehn, you’ll never be able to picture it even, one Nurse, 30 labour related cases with about 10 kids already needing attention…

  12. zeebaby

    February 2, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    I don’t even know where to start! I just can’t deal. National hospital Abuja is the home of Negligence and badly behave doctors and nurses. I hated my life wn I was admitted there last year following a referral for pregnancy complications. After months of battling on n off, I had a stillbirth and had to go thru with d birth via induction. It was a nasty episode and d hospital made it worse for me. The house doctors were inexperienced. You had to be super big to attract d attention of a consultant. The night nurse literally said I was disturbn her sleep .I finally expelled d baby at 3am after 5 days of labor induction on top of d bed in d general ward.

    • Chilok

      February 2, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      I completely agree with you about National Hospital. I went there in serious pain from toothache by 7am, I was attended to around noon( the dentist, an intern, recommended drugs and gave me an appointment for 3 weeks later for d procedure). I went home in tears. Of course, d pain got worse and I had an infection. My mouth was swollen, and I had to carry it that way for weeks. On d scheduled day, I still had to wait all day because any big man or his kid that showed up got to see the consultant with no appointment. It was still d same intern that came to do d root canal in d evening. It was a traumatic experience. Private hospital was not an option, I was only a corps member. I also didnt want d tooth removed because I had removed 2 already from that side of my mouth.

    • Ekbasis

      February 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      God saved your life, 5 days for an induction.

  13. akissi

    February 2, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    hahahahahaha @ “Madam steady ya yansh, if you no want injection others dey wait me”, I never really had rudeness in nigeria more like indifference and basically the attitude was if you dont get well, na you saka. I moved to the US and had to have two surgeries and both times I felt like I was royalty. From the receptionist who tells you which room to go to, to the nurse who believes it is her life’s goal to make you comfortable to the doctor who honestly believes your life is precious. What is more amazing is the AFTER CARE! You get an RN calling you for at least 2 weeks post surgery to make sure everything is as should be and you are healing nicely. If i won the lottery, it would be to build a hospital that employs, trains and motivates doctors, nurses and all staff who believe every life is precious

  14. Aderonke

    February 2, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    This is one topic that we can never finish…most of the hospitals’ staff in our society are sadist.
    They are very indifferent and insensitive to patients plights . They see human life as nothing.

    Yes, the staff may not have the best of welfare by the government but every career has its own challenges. Sectors like the financials, security, manufacturing, SMEs, etc all have their hazards but may be less sensitive compared to the medical sector .
    The medicals area of influence is more critical because they have been given the opportunity to “help save lives” while others are to “help make life better”.
    The passion for the job always make the difference.
    I have met few great and selfless doctors, and may God continue to bless them. And their reward is invaluable because they did not only make the patients happy but the family & friends as well.. And our medical staff need to realize that we believe so much in them and trust God for the miracle
    Also we need our government to help put equipment and structures in place to aid the medical practitioners, just like Fashola revamped Lagos State Teaching Hospital., may God bless him for this.
    The federal government need to revamp LUTH is like a dead hole now..SMH

    I hope all stakeholders always remember that “what you sow, you reap” is not just for our daily life living but also in our places of work or area of influence.

    The bible says “He that knows what is good and does not do it is a sin”

    Shikena, May God bless the selfless ones and let the callous ones continue…God dey!

  15. Benbella

    February 2, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    I had a bout of malaria and went to a nearby clinic/medical centre/glorified dispensary in Surulere. I was ushered into the doctor’s office, and walked in to see a light skinned, slight framed man in his mid to late 30s. He looked a bit Sam Loco to me, but it was all good. He was drinking zobo from a sachet; not so good. He had crumbs on his mouth, and a sack of unshelled and shelled gra-nuts on his desk. Not good at all. But doctor must wack, abi?

    After telling him the symptoms I was feeling, he asked “Do you have any medication or drugs you are allergic to or react adversely to?”

    I replied “Quinine or chloroquine. Basically any medicine with quinine in it.”

    He probed further “Just quinine? Any other drug?”

    I affirmed “None that I know of. I definitely do not take quinine.” I was a bit pissed that he kept referring to “medicine” as “drugs”. Something made me think that he meant the same thing.

    He scribbled on his note pad for a while, and when he looked up, he said he was prescribing some injections and “drugs” for me. Sweating with a fever, I nodded, stood up and made for the in-house dispensary. down the hall

    The matron nurse there looked like she was in a bad mood, and showed no mercy when pushing the needle into my backside. She was like a cheeky 8 year old with a pin in a room full of balloons.

    After pricking my gluteus maximus severally, I picked up my prescription and left for home. On the way, I stopped by a mallam’s kiosk, and bought a bottle of Ragolis Spring Water. I “took” the meds right there in front of Mallam Danladi.

    By the time I got home, I was itching badly. It was like I took a bath with a huge bucket of yam and cassava water.

    After 45 minutes, I couldn’t bear it any longer as I was scratching every inch of my body red with any sharp object I could find. Biro cover, math-set divider, TV antenna, acrylic nail set. That darn doctor must have prescribed a quinine injection for me. I am going to strangle him with his stethoscope when I see him next.

    I drove to the hospital like a crazed CBN van police escort, interrupting changes of gear to scratch throbbing bits of my body, including impossible places to reach like behind the knees, between my big toe and the next one, between my raw nyash crack…..

    I parked badly on the side-walk next to the hospital not caring about LASTMA, dashed into the hospital past the receptionist, and barged into the doctor’s office.

    The doctor looked up from his desk; he was reading Hints Magazine and munching on popcorn featuring epa. Oh a new snack eh?

    The conversation between me and “Dr. Loco” the medical practitioner went:

    “Doc, what the hell did you prescribe me? What was the injection I took…?”

    “Chloroquine”

    “I remember telling you that I react badly to any quinine drug. I am itching violently now.”

    “Ok o, sorry about that.”

    Sorry? Eh, thanks but, hello I am err, still itching.

    The menacing look on my face unnerved him, as I continued performing my robotic dance due to the itching.

    He looked down, and started scribbling another prescription on his note-pad.

    That had better be Botox or something…

    I asked “What’s that you are prescribing? Is it some anti-itch medication like something to ease the itching?”

    He replied very softly “Nah, I am prescribing Alagbin.”

    I shouted “Ala wetin?!! I have already taken something for malaria!” Ala gbabukwe gi.

    “Oh, sorry.” He looked more confused, with beads of perspiration around his face. NEPA had just taken light in the hospital and his room was now stuffy. Plus the pressure I was putting on him was quite hot too.

    I was contemplating what to do next when the matron barged into the room without knocking, with a worried look on her face and her voice trembling “Doctor! Doctor! Please come quickly, the patient in Ward 13 has fallen into a coma!”

    The doctor looked at me and then looked at the nurse, with a lost expression “Comma?”

    When I heard that, I decided to leg it. A 7 year itch is better than a fatal case of medical malpractice.

    • whocares

      February 2, 2016 at 4:09 pm

      @Ben. B- lmaooooooooooooooooo. Why do you sound like Esco? LMAOOOOO. I enjoyed reading about your discomfort waaaay more than I should. I also copied it and sent it to my friend. I am allergic to quinine as well so I understand that pain (even your foot itches; seriously the foot!)
      Nigerian hospitals – I don’t recall my experiences there ‘cos by the time I made it to the hospital I was always severely ill. That’s how much I hated going to the hospital then so I would try and try to ignore whatever illness I had until some adult noticed. Any small thing, injection and they don’t do it well. I remember school vaccinations and those people will be “shooking” you injections. really, they stabbed you with that needle and some people got complications from it.

    • Dr. N

      February 2, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      I was laughing at “steady your nyash when u came with your own”
      ROTFL
      I know these are serious issues but can I just compliment your sense of humor? Lol

  16. Mz C-me

    February 2, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    I remember doing a test at Abuja Clinics. When I went to see the Doctor, the dude was reading newspaper in front of me. Can you imagine? Safe to say I haven’t gone back there since then.

    eattechtravel.wordpress.com

    • ATL's finest

      February 2, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      ??????? at least, he was just reading news paper. He didn’t scream @ U like they did to my cousin & I. The nurse definitely brought the Beast/bitch outta me. I gave her more than 100ml of it & over dosed her too with it mtchew! It kills me when they start trying to form American Eng/ascent. Most of them are just too thrifling for my liking. However, I can’t blame them cuz they are working like Voluntary workers.

  17. Missy

    February 2, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    1) Once in Unilag, my friends rushed me to the health center at 10;30pm because I had a terrible fever. The Nurses at the reception said they couldn’t attend to me because it wasn’t an emergency. It took me screaming and cursing for a Doctor to come out and make sure I was attended to. He immediately ordered injections and a bed for me. At about 5am, a nurse woke me up shouting that i should take a shower to cool my temperature then she left. I passed out on the floor on my way to the bathroom and woke up at about 9am, still alone, still on the floor.
    2) Had a surgery at a private hosp ojodu when i was 17. I walked into the theartre on my two feet and saw all the knives and cutlasses they were going to use. I was in my fitted jeans throughout the procedure and i woke up blind for an hour and feeling like a had been hacked to pieces.
    3) Had to repeat the surgery in the UK when the issue came back. Pure bliss. I never saw the inside of the theater cos I was first wheeled into a pretty room where they administered anesthetic and the man was asking me funny questions till i zoned out. The nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologist, porters…everyone was soo soo nice and I didnt wake up feeling like road-kill.
    Tell me why I won’t jet out if i can afford it every time.

    • Cindy

      February 2, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Unilag med center? Lol? Common blood group test, they missed it. They said I was O. Thank God I knew I could never be O. It is not like they know their jobs that well but trust the staff to be able to ridicule students trying to do their medicals. One even slapped a student in my front before.
      UCH private suites, very funny set of people. You pay so much money to climb up 6 flights of stairs because the elevator hardly ever works. I’ve done blood group test there twice since I could not trust unilag, I have still not seen one result almost 3 years now. Same private suites that sent a man with stroke all the way downstairs with just a porter, no nurse no doctor. I was going for an xray too so I followed them. Of course the man had a seizure on the way down and the porter left him with us other patients and his son to go and call a doctor. I thought the man would die in front of me, so scary. Same private suites that a man sued them for wheeling his wife out of the theater because a nurse was also in labour. He lost her. Smh.
      Molly specialist hospital, let me give them props for computerizing customer information even though they didn’t have my details for the upteenth time. I’m always by new card. Mtchew. Or is it how a woman who birthed her child there a few days earlier rushed the child in as emergency. After making her wait for more than 15mins, they came to tell her there was no bed for the child. Right in my front, a nurse put her legs on the chair patients are to sit to check their vitals. Same day, the doctor attending to me got electrocuted in her office. I was just saying sorry but in my mind i was like ???
      Most of our health practitioners in this country are clueless.

  18. ATL's finest

    February 2, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    Whao!! I recalled my mom telling me a story when one of my sibling was born, they nurse didn’t care much for my mom & when she finly gained strength, she got what she needed from my mom ( a great piece of bad mouth) & as God will punish the nurse, she was walking down d hall way & fell flat on her face ???? my mom said she couldn’t stop laughing.

    • bonnie

      February 2, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      OMG…atl’s finest. u gt me crackin

  19. Onyie

    February 2, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    O Ivy thanks so much for this post! I thought i was the only one who has issues with healthcare in Nigeria.

    Two years ago i had a terrible accident. The car somersaulted and i wasn’t wearing my seat belt. Nothing happened thank God just a few bruises but i still went to the hospital for a checkup. The hospital is in Abuja and after i narrated my story to the doctor, he told me sorry and gave me balm to rub on my joints that ached. I was so shocked! I asked him if he wasn’t going to run tests and his reply was that it wasn’t necessary. Like seriously?! I went to another hospital where the doctor was more sensible and ran tests. Luckily there was no internal bleeding but i’ve suffered from terrible migraines since the accident. At the same hospital, i was in serious pain for hours because the doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Found out later that the drugs and injections the doctor gave me was just aggravating the pain. I did tell him i had an ulcer before he started administering drugs o.

    All this happened at a top notch private hospital. The health system in this country is crap and seriously needs to be improved. Let me stop before i write an epistle.

  20. Chu-chu

    February 2, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I was ill for some time, despite treating malaria, need i add, self medication. Was still feeling wooozy and naeuous, that was when i decided to go to the hospital. I got to this supposed private hospital and almost everybody was watching football. I now spoke with someone who i later realised was the receptionist, after paying for tests and all., the doctor who atteded to me, was one of the football watchers. After describing my symptoms, bros said i shuld do scan, during the scan was whn he non chanlantly told me i was pregnant, only to mutter under his breathe, that all these small small girls, when they will be doing, they won’t know. This was me, a 25 year old, am quite smallish. Chaii! i was pained, anyway i didn’t ans him, i was the one who took my self to his misery clinic. Trust me, u dont want to know how the story ended.

    • chu-chu

      February 3, 2016 at 8:58 am

      typed that in a hurry, forgive the typos.

  21. nursey

    February 2, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm….you are right when you say the treatment in most ‘government health facilities is inhumane and somewhat sadistic. I trained in a Uni here in Naija, and was attached to the teaching hospital for clinicals so I was a witness to the shoddy treatment meted out to some patients. They were mean even to us, just because they could see us replacing them in the nearest future as BSc Nurses so there has been ‘beef’ ever since. One fact stands out though, empathy is what makes you provide premium care to ensure your patients, or clients don’t suffer any more than they already have. Sadly, this is lacking. I am drained out everyday at work that sometimes, I wonder if I’ll have enough care left for a family of my own. You burn out really when it’s just a handful of nurses caring for over a 100 patients. Empathy is what pushes you but even man has his limits, the ‘government and even private hospital owners need to motivate us even more to always give our best every time because nurses do the most work and are the least paid, least appreciated.
    #mypatientsknowicareeverytime.

  22. DAME

    February 2, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Well, i ahve not had a nasty experience majorly because when i lived in lagos i used my Uncle”s hospital and as Doctor’s niece…i was pampered.
    Moving to Abuja, my first experience was at Limi Hospital in Central Area…..well they are ok just very slow…
    I recently changed to NISA PREMIER which is supposed to be a top-notch hospital…well so far i am impressed, the place is always clean, well mannered staff…my own issue is that all the doctors there are young…some even consult textbook before prescribing the drugs..HIAN….the guy even said it is normal in yankee..errrm uncle ok o
    Just one day i had to scream on them to hurry up their procedures as am in an Hospital not hotel…askor

    • Kenechukwu

      February 2, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      Please, it is very normal, proper standard practice, to consult books before you prescribe medication. Nigerians want one babalawo who will pull out rabbits from his hat

    • Anon

      February 3, 2016 at 7:52 am

      Wc would you prefer? To die because of a mistake on your prescription or to live because the doctor checked the dosage in the BMJ? I know which one i prefer, ignoramus

    • adelegirl

      February 3, 2016 at 10:18 am

      I had a great pregnancy and birth experience at Nisa Premier. Started antenatal with them from about 10/11 weeks. Matron Grace is such a cute, warm wonderful person. 🙂 The nurses and doctors were very friendly, even to the extent of being doting sef. My family and I still talk about how great the experience was. I received round the clock care and after delivery, so did my baby, till we left the hospital. My vitals and baby’s heartbeat were constantly checked during labour. They had modern equipment and the labour room accommodates only one patient, so no tales of cramped labour rooms. The nurses were so supportive and so helpful, I kept apologising to them. We were so in awe and so thankful that we overtipped every nurse and general hospital staff that we came in contact with during the process.

      The only part of the hospital that hasn’t impressed me thus far is their pediatric unit. Last time I took my baby for immunisation, one auxiliary nurse had the temerity to be antsy with me because I was “making things difficult” for her by paying first?! From the reception to the nurses, they generally lack the warmth I experienced in the OB/GYN unit. I am now looking for a better hospital in Abuja with a great pediatric service to register my bambino.

    • tomeloma

      February 3, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      @DAME Even my NHS doctor(UK) searched on google for ideas on my treatment, right in front of me…with no apologies, better to be safe than sorry

  23. Healthsperience

    February 2, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Bellanaija, thanks for this!

    Onyie, Benbella and co…just out of curiosity, why did you guys leave out the name of the hospital? I’ve heard reasons like “slander” or “bringing their name down”….but as long as its a true, objective and factual experience I don’t see why it should be a problem. If its one-off thing, I’m sure the hospital wouldn’t hurt from your review. However if several people are saying the same thing about the same hospital, then they are possibly a negligent facility and a repeat offender, and you are doing other people a favor by being transparent about it.

    It’s because we hear a lot of scary health stories like this, that we decided to create a free and interactive platform where Nigerians can share health stories and leave reviews for other people. It’s been eye-opening so far.

    Kindly check us out www dot healthsperience dot com 🙂

  24. dr mute

    February 2, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    absolutely true. there’s so much to say. I’m glad people see these things and talk about them. I pray things change. the reason the best nigerian doctors prefer to keep practicing out there in developed countries. We only pray for the best

    berrysmotivation.blogspot.com.ng

  25. Remxy

    February 2, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    GoldCross Hospital Ikoyi is the best I have experienced in 9ja. Everyone I know who has used there have only good things to say. From the reception to nurses, Doctors,cleaners etc. Their equipment and facility is topnotch. I rate them 5star

  26. solape

    February 2, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Pls doren and budo hospital around ajah is terrible no one should go there. Thank you.

  27. Koffie

    February 2, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    While I was reading about the way you were treated in the UK hospital, it was ‘sweeting’ my body almost like a ‘fairytale’ of hospitals. If one is to benchmark Nigerian hospitals to that, none could come close. I had breast lumps some years back (benign) and momma had taken me to Federal Medical Centre as she didn’t want some quack ‘private’ doctor to butcher my breasts for something that could be better sorted. Their doctors know their stuff (or maybe I’m now accustomed to the sub-standard, lol) but the way you can’t be sure you’d see the same doctor on your next appointment (for the same breast issue) meant that I removed my bra for more doctors than I care to remember and had to narrate the same stories over n over. And for each appointment, you better get there by 6am to beat the queue and take your largest dose of skin thickner because the rude nurses and matrons will annoy you since that’s what they do best. I think the worst part was when I saw directed to see a Specialist/Consultant and he brought in housemanship doctors to observe how he examined me without prior consent from me (I wasn’t even informed I was going to be a lab rat). The nurse had my shirt and bra and as soon as the ‘crowd’ entered, I snatched my mum’s gele to cover my boobs since the nurse was too far. The nurse said something rude like “Aunty, what’s on ya chest that they’ve not seen before. If you come dey born nko”. My mum and the Consultant apologised and raising that gele back up was quite embarrassing.
    My next review is on Medplus, I doubt those attendants in white coats there are actual pharmacists. I went there to buy Synbiotics (Probiotics with prebiotics) supplement for digestive health and explained to one of those white-coat ladies what I was looking for. She asked her colleague if there was any drug called prebiotics and that one said “Sorry, it’s probiotics not prebiotics” with so much confidence. I explained that I wanted something with both and was not in fact mistaken. The condescending way she replied me “who sent you, I said it is probiotics” was just appalling and I felt a strong urge to ask her what course she studied and to pick up more books to read but I was too exhausted to argue. I just left and will find an actual pharmacist to get the prescribed supplements from. The most embarrassing thing is talking down on a customer when you actually are wrong. But because I feel better now, I’ll print out a page on a tabular difference between prebiotics and probiotics and stop by there tomorrow to give her. Petty, I know.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 2, 2016 at 10:54 pm

      “Aunty what is on ya chest…” No chill or tact whatsoever, with my people ??

      And please, print that differentiator out and stop there. Petty wetin? It’ll be your charitable deed for the week, by sharing enlightenment with one who may not be fully aware of her own ignorance…..

  28. Kenechukwu

    February 2, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    This is the problem with the Nigerian patient. You had only minor bruises. The first doctor assessed you, didn’t feel the need to run any tests and he honestly told you tests weren’t necessary.
    You sought a second opinion from another doctor (this is your right, tho) who took your money and ran a barrage of tests which yielded no results.
    Now you see why doctors like running irrelevant tests on patients. If you don’t they will tell their friends that you don’t know what you are doing

    • Onyie

      February 2, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Kenechukwu,

      The doctor didn’t assess or examine me. If he had, that would have been better and i wouldn’t have gone to seek a second opinion. He just sat down there, stared at me while i told him what had happened and gave me balm after i was done. I was with a friend in the car when the accident happened and she had some bleeding internally and had to be operated on. I had every RIGHT to seek a second opinion given the fact that i didn’t have a seat belt on and my neck was bent at an awkward angle when the car stopped somersaulting.

      Maybe you will be comfortable with that kind of treatment after such a terrible accident but i certainly wasn’t so please don’t even talk like you knew the details of the accident!

  29. Baba

    February 2, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Sis…i honestly feel you.After living in the U.K for over 12yrs,i had the same experience.For someone who is never sick,it started just like yours(Tummy cramp). After forming big man,i had to wake wifey up.After waiting 2 hrs for ambulance(never use to be like this,but since Europe came) i finally got to A&E.
    To cut the long story short after so many test,mesef dey think he don do,spent a night there.
    I did not want to leave…never rested like that or get waited on like that before in the U.K!!!.
    I started getting use to the comfort…na so i discharge myself oo.
    On the contrary,mother -in-law had cancer.Got the best treatment here.After years decides to go back to Naija…had a relapse.After private hospital eat all our money,she was moved to Gen Hospital.They did not have common EXTENTION cable to connect oxygen cylinder and she lost her life!!!!

  30. traumatised

    February 2, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Fereprod hospital, Abuja. I was warned not to go there but I no gree hear! I had a nasty experience there also. I was about 5 months pregnant and came in with painful bone crisis at abt 5am bn SS (sadly,my genotype has exposed me to all kind of hospital matters.) The nurse came to give me an injection for d pains and screamed at me to keep quiet while crying from pains. I instantly shut up. I cldnt even ask her what she was giving me again. Hours later, still no relief… unfortunately I had bn given an injection I am allergic to. This injection even worsens d pain for me. When d nurse came in, I told her dat I cldnt ask abt d treatment cos of her initial attitude… babe told me it wasn’t her bizness but d doctors fault, hissed n walked out. I later reported to a senior doctor whoo apologised. The ward was dirty. I vomited at a point and a cleaner told my mom not to disturb her. After three days, I asked for a discharge. My best hospital experience so far has bn Lagoon Hospital, Apapa. Despite bn under an NHIS, they gave me 2 bedded room with correct care, access to consultants, 3 cool meals. In Abuja, Diff, Arewa, Nisapremier, cedarcrest, Nizamiye, deda are d standard ( if u can afford them)

  31. D

    February 2, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    So many horror stories in Nigerian hospitals… I have lost loved ones due to negligence or sheer callousness. But truth is many of the medical staff are underpaid, if paid at all. The infrastructure is appalling in the government clinics and hospitals… our governments have a lot to answer for… but they don’t care because they can easily afford to fly out for treatment when they need it.

  32. purplenile

    February 2, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    This article is a bit misleading. International students pay a surcharge to use NHS services. In addition, the NHS is free at the point of access i.e emergency services.

    • genevieve

      February 2, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      @purplenile that started last year. Prior to 2015 international students don’t pay any surcharge to use NHS, it was free for the duration of ur study in the UK. And currently u only pay £150 in addition to ur visa fees as NHS surcharge which last for d duration of ur studies.

  33. Benito

    February 2, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    And yet you have people telling you to come back to this shithole called Nigeria

    • ATL's finest

      February 3, 2016 at 2:37 am

      @ Benito ???????????? lmao!!! When I think of that health insurance business alone, it’s enough for me to burst my ass here & keep my health going. When my mom was back home, Everything she’s in d hospital all the test comes out say Typhoid fever. Haba I was so mad on summer & when she came here, I rushed her straight to the ER & thanks to God we got in at d right time for her sugar level was 600( Jesus) what a miracle she’s still here. And for the past 7yrs, I don’t think she’s ever bn admitted. Person go suffer from Cancer, them go say an Malaria.

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      February 3, 2016 at 11:36 am

      if you like listen to them, misery seeks company.

  34. Lois

    February 2, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Hmmm, nah only Lagos and Abuja stories full here o. If you now go up north in Nigeria, chai! You will weep for how people die like chicken in the most repulsive environment called hospitals. Horrible! All I and my family pray for is grace not to ever fall sick and make God Himself help me through this one wey I don enter o because I go soon born

  35. Ria

    February 3, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Hello,
    I just thought to share a very unpleasant experience with fellow readers. I used to hear horror stories about Nigerian nurses and hospitals,I used to think some were merely exaggerations and myths-however,I was astounded to learn that it might be true afterall, and then some-at least I can deduce that from my experience .

    My father was to undergo surgery at the orthopaedic hospital in Lagos (february2014).While he was being prepped for surgery,the doctors informed us that his blood sugar level was very high so surgery was postponed.To reduce his blood sugar level,he was given insulin shots.However,the nurses were not carrying out routine checks to see how low the blood sugar level had gotten,We found out later that it got so low hence he slipped into a coma.We even had no idea that he was in a coma,we thought he was drowsy as a result of the drugs and we were concerned because he wasn’t speaking and was breathing through his mouth.We made frenzied attempts to wake him up to eat to no avail.While we were visibly agitated,a nurse came and handed us drugs to administer to him by ourselves in that state! They just kept staring at us from their station while we worked ourselves up trying to wake him up-not knowing he had already slipped into a coma.The research we have carried out showed that if he had been given a sugar-based beverage,his sugar level would have gone back up to a safe level-we did not know this.In retrospect,it was not our job to know as we were not health professionals.The nurses ignored us and left us with the job of trying to wake him. I have no adjective to qualify how badly behaved the nurses were-i have always heard tales but I had no inkling it was that bad.The nurses were grossly unprofessional,rude to patients and relatives of patients,and lacking in compassion and empathy that the nursing profession is known for in other parts of the world.
    My Dad died days later.There had been so much damage to the brain as a result of the coma.His death left me with feelings of shock,anger and depression in equal proportions.
    The treatment meted out to Nigerians in these hospitals I cannot begin to explain.In hindsight,I would have recorded some of our encounters with them,then again,I couldn’t have since I was so carried away with my Dad’s health. I want to draw the attention of Nigerians to these hospitals-they aren’t free afterall so its not out of place to demand to be treated right.We payed for so many tests that were not carried out,we paid for scans and x-rays but didn’t get the films until days later-as they claimed the machine was bad.There are other horrible experiences I can’t recall right now .

    PS:We already paid over N200,000 at the orthopaedic hospital for the surgery he was to undergo-since he did not get to undergo the surgery-they refused to give us a refund and gave us the run-around.

    • Anon

      February 3, 2016 at 7:54 am

      I am so so so sorry honey

    • adelegirl

      February 3, 2016 at 10:22 am

      Name and shame the hospital and possibly prevent other people from suffering what your family suffered. So sorry you had to go through such a torturous experience. May your Dad’s soul rest in peace.

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      February 3, 2016 at 11:41 am

      pele my dear, May God comfort you

    • Nuna

      February 3, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      This story just made me realise how horrible things are in this country. I dont even know what to say.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      February 4, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      🙁 🙁 That’s terribly sad, Ria. I’m really, really sorry to hear of the loss of your dad (as I was reading and hoping for good news at the end).

  36. anonymous

    February 3, 2016 at 11:47 am

    One of the worst things that can happen to anyone is to be critically ill in Nigeria.
    Lagoon Hospital and Dr Ketiku of LUTH, I leave you all to God to judge for the roles you played in my mom’s death.

  37. chibaz

    February 3, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Not trying to justify anyone. There will always be bad eggs everywhere. But get to work and have to attend to between 90- 120 a day. No electricity to work, even water sometimes to wash your hands. I really do not see why I should pick up an infection and carry it home to my family because I am a doctor. A patient rushes into your emergency and you are just so so frustrated because you do not have BASIC things to work with. Most of our colleagues are leaving the country and so doctor/patient ratio does not make sense at all. Sometimes you just want to pick up your bag and leave because you wandering what the hell you are doing if you can’t save a patient. We don’t have equipments, simple basic equipments. The ones that are available are outdated and are no longer in use in developed countries. There are not enough hospitals, government says they don’t have money and so they can not employ more hands. The government hospitals are understaffed, not equipped. The primary health care system is almost non existent. People have to travel from one village to another to access health care. These are some the reasons why we go on strike. I am not just a doctor but I am a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a cousin, a friend and anyone I know or associated with me could be a patient anywhere, anytime. Our leaders travel out they do not use this facilities and so they so not care.

  38. anon doctor

    February 3, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    when people say the health system in Nigeria is bad, they say it with a lot of surprise and shock… ermmm, what system in Nigeria is good? the health system is a section of an already bad system. nothing works in Nigeria, so expecting the health system to be different is naive of anyone. just like we have bad policemen and good policemen but the bad outweighing the good is the same way we have bad doctors, nurses, lab technicians etc. we cannot continue to judge the health system in isolation. it feels hypocritical.

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