Kathleen Ndongmo: A strike a day keeps the doctor away (YNaija FrontPage)

Going on strike, leaving millions without access to healthcare, putting their ‘fellow human beings’ at risk for the sake of wage grievances is greedy at best, criminal at worst: a selfish “my way or the grave” mentality.

Morally reflective people have wrestled with the question of whether civil disobedience by doctors is ever morally justified, and if so, under what circumstances? Unless you happen to be a member of the Nigerian government (or can afford private healthcare), it is easy to empathise with and support the various public protests that serve to tackle the inequality in society and highlight the immorality of those in ‘power’.

However, there are some situations where strike action can have a detrimental effect not only on the government but on ordinary people, and in rare cases it seems as if the grievances of a few employees are selfishly put ahead of the pressing needs of the larger society. Case in point is the Lagos state doctors’ strike – symptom of the nation’s healthcare disease; a new mood of militancy currently sweeping through the medical profession.

Doctors are an incredibly rare commodity in Africa. In fact, Nigeria currently records 0.4 physicians per thousand people compared to 0.27 in 2000. That figure means doctors here are rarer than in almost every other country on earth. Yet every year, thousands of qualified doctors, nurses, dentists and other members of industry flee the country to earn their keep in places like the UK, the US, Canada and Australia leaving the home front chronically short-staffed. Those who stay back then express their discontent over pay and working conditions by violating the very ethics they’ve sworn to operate by.

It is perfectly fine to demand a fair wage – nobody should be punished for serving the public and the Nigerian government is clearly not doing enough to keep hold of our in-demand doctors. But in January 2010, there was a move from the CONTISS payment structure to CONMESS – the document shows a leap in salaries and benefits for healthcare professional and speaks for something. Plus, there are bigger problems in our healthcare industry strike actions will not resolve.

In recent years, it has been impossible to pick up a newspaper without reading about the latest doctors’ strike. The current stand-off has been rolling on for almost three months now – it amazes me that doctors are willing for it to go on indefinitely while Lagos’ citizens (at least, the majority who can’t afford private healthcare) suffer endless medical complaints, often with tragic outcomes. It’s a death knell for the profession’s reputation. Sooner or later, doctors – once revered- would be dragged down to the same level as bankers or — dare I say it — senators, and regarded as a bunch of money-grabbers who put their own demands before the wider needs of the public.

The medical world is not meant to be like this. Working as a doctor is not a mere occupation. It is a vocation — one built on compassion for the most vulnerable in society. Upon entering the medical profession all doctors have to swear to practice medicine ethically, promising to “apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures required”, to “prevent disease whenever I can” and to “remember I remain a member of society with obligations to all my fellow human beings”. Going on strike, leaving millions without access to healthcare, putting their ‘fellow human beings’ at risk for the sake of wage grievances is greedy at best, criminal at worst: a selfish “my way or the grave” mentality.

Strike action is not the solution: it is the problem. Medical professionals can rise above this kind of meanness. Indeed, instead of a strike, the medical profession should embrace reform of the healthcare sector. After all, no one knows better than doctors that life expectancy is decreasing dramatically in this country no less thanks to the already prevailing harsh conditions of living. The Medical Guild could have taken a more responsible step, a move entirely in keeping with the finest altruistic traditions of the medical profession. Tragically, there is precious little sign of responsibility from the Medical Guild. It has become a reckless organization bent on self-service rather than self-sacrifice.

We need to fix our system. Wages come into it, but priority has to be ensuring hospitals have 24-hour electricity, sufficient medical supplies and so on. Once those things have been accomplished, once the people are fairly looked after, then maybe we’ll all have a little more sympathy for doctors’ quest for a pay rise.

Over to you.

*CONMESS = Consolidated Medical Salary Structure

*CONTISS = Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure

Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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Comments (64)

  1. sir can you inform of the place of Nigerian engineering professionals in the recently approved consolidated salary structures for public servants in Nigerian. are they not relevant like other professional like doctors,heath and environment workers.pls we solicit for your assistance.

  2. nice article. Highly recommended.

  3. Pingback: This logic matter | YNaija

  4. Doctors must accept the huge responsibility of their profession, be true to the oath, and tread carefully when it comes to strikes. And if strike they must, so be it. But the opportunity must not be missed to address all the other related issues along with it.

  5. The number of responses generated by the article goes to show that we are all touched one way or the other and feel the need to contribute to the debate. There is never a justification in my mind to disrespect the words, thoughts and actions of another being especially to the point of being impolite and using words such as reckless, greedy, criminal, extortionist, blessed Gods, senseless and all the like Contributing to the debate , and sharing our point of view is the point of the exercise.

    Having said all that, I guess Wole is right. Doctors are workers, who like all workers, have the right to work in fair, humane and safe working conditions. Doctors, like all other workers, have the right to seek better working conditions. In late 2011, the Indian government suspended 40 doctors and arrested 390 for them failing to perform their duties, which led to 10,000 doctors gong on strike (http://edition.cnn.com/2011/12/25/world/asia/india-doctors-strike/index.html?hpt=hp_t3) and physician walkout have been contemplated even in the United States albeit for a very different reason, the rising cost of Malpractice insurance. So like other professionals they have a right to strike.

    Again having said all that, I guess Kathleen is also right. Doctors and other professionals occupy a very delicate position in society. That of being responsible for “lives” and going on strike is not a position to be taken without very strong justification and consideration. We do not want strikes to "dethrone" physicians, as we believe these professionals hold themselves to a higher standard than we routinely see in other fields. e.g. our University lecturers. But in a country like our dear Nigeria, where agreements are routinely flouted and politicians are not called to order by governments, and where hosting a birthday party for Mr Tinubu is higher in priority than the welfare of our medical professionals, it falls on civil society and sometimes for the sake of the greater good, to take difficult decisions to force reason.

    While Doctors have a right to seek better working conditions( in fact we insist that they do so, provided the intent is the improvement of medical care in the longer run) Emergency services should continue to run when the elective cases and out-patient clinic appointments are cancelled and postponed to a future date. Strikes should not be indefinite. Cannot be indefinite. When absolutely necessary ."Sit -outs" should be rare ( if ever) and it should be quick and temporary in order to do "No Harm" to the patient. This must be the guiding principle even under the very difficult circumstance of the Nigerian factor which even I must acknowledge.Remember the medical profession is not the only one that is ill here. A whole lot of other things too numerous to mention, bigger than medical care is the problem here, and we cannot isolate medicare and hold the populace to ransom on account of poor working conditions for the medical professionals alone. If all the different parts of society, who are affected by all the “ills” in Nigeria did same, I believe we won’t have a country we could call Nigeria.

    So let our medics not antagonize the populace who to large extent understand their plight, as it is all our plight too. But the issue should not be limited to salaries of the medical professionals alone. I believe it goes beyond that. I believe it includes infrastructure, the fact that our hospitals are ill equipped to handle the medical issues it is confronted with I believe it includes resources. The fact that our hospitals are understaffed not only with doctors but support staff as well. Nurses and laboratory technicians and pharmacists. I believe it includes corruption. The fact that budgets meant for government hospital equipment are diverted by the professionals for their private clinics. All of these issues MUST be part of the discussion. Otherwise it is lame and self serving and will always generate the controversy we see.

    Doctors must accept the huge responsibility of their profession, be true to the oath, and tread carefully when it comes to strikes.

  6. For your information; Issues
    concerning the Nigerian Medical
    Association,Medical guild of Lagos.
    The consolidated medical salary scale
    is the salary structure designed by the
    federal government 4years ago with
    the aim of providing a uniform salary
    scale for doctors irrespective of the
    state,kind of hospital,and
    specialisation. With an annual
    increment denoting years of
    experience.
    Most states in the country immediately
    began paying conmess in full.
    2years after this,the medical guild
    wrote several letters to the government
    to remind them of conmess as they
    were yet to be paid. The governor then
    SIGNED an agreement that he would
    commence payment in 2011 with
    arrears being owed.
    The federal government made it clear
    that if conmess is paid, Doctors would
    ignore the poor work conditions,work
    extended hours like they have been
    but this time they would be happy
    doing it, they wouldn't have to leave
    the country to work abroad, more
    people would be encouraged to train
    as doctors and the health of the
    people would be secured.
    Tax was increased, conmess was not
    paid, work conditions were not
    improved, doctor's lives were lost to
    stress related illnesses. Call rooms
    were not provided for doctors on call.
    When Mr Fashola was reminded in
    January,he simply said the President
    couldn't dictate how much he would
    pay doctors in his state,and the tax
    increase was necessary so we can get
    used to it INCASE he agrees to
    implement conmess! He said he
    couldn't afford to pay conmess(but
    could plan the most expensive
    birthday party in the World for Mr
    Tinubu)
    We then embarked on a legal 3day
    warning strike with prior notice to
    sensitize the people and remind the
    government of the signed agreement
    On resumption,all doctors were given
    individual query letters(for a joint
    action?). Another one was issued,then
    letters were issued for "call to panel /
    impending dismissal from duty". A
    week later, armour tanks were brought
    to all lagos general hospitals and
    teaching hospital Lasuth ikeja,with
    doctors walked out of their clinics while
    seeing patients. The Med guild
    immediately called for an indefinite
    strike and the lagos state government
    sued for breech of agreement and
    Victimisation of doctors.
    Fake pay slips were published in the
    papers 2weeks ago claiming doctors
    were being paid as much as 900,000
    whereas a medical professor of
    20years has never been paid as much
    as 500,000.
    A Neurosurgeon(brain surgeon)
    consultant still collects 171,000 as
    salary. Be informed we have only less
    dan 20 in Nigeria(2of them with lagos
    state,they trained in America,they have
    both been sacked!).They work round
    the clock(we have enough head
    injuries daily due to road traffic
    accidents).
    3days ago,we were issued sack letters
    and 97 doctors(not 373 like u heard)
    were employed as locum doctors
    (doctors paid per hour). These locum
    doctors need residents and
    consultants to put them through.
    It takes years of experience to perform
    a caesarian section on a woman or a
    brain surgery(esp bore hole to relieve
    increased brain pressure or blood in d
    brain) or an appendectomy or treat a
    sick child or even to help a mentally ill
    patient.
    NMA has made it clear that the newly
    appointed doctors should not & would
    not accept the job offer,and that all
    doctors across the nation would join in
    the strike against victimization on friday
    after the on going professional exams.
    The issue is now beyond CONMESS
    struggle – the government is aiming to
    devour the medical and dental
    profession.
    Be informed that doctors are not
    slaves,our Hippocratic oath explains
    that we owe an obligation to our
    patients and they owe an obligation to
    us and our services must be paid for.
    Thanks for taking time to read this. I
    hope you have been well informed. Dr
    Biggie Adeyemi

  7. Kathleen, airing your opinion is entirely your right but 'reckless', 'greedy' and 'criminal' are adjectives you should have refrained from regardless. What do you think everyone in this country is demanding? The purpose of Occupy Nigeria? Better standards of living, that is. Are doctors not human beings? Can't they ask to survive? A doctor is on call all through the night but he's supposed to report at work 8 a.m. the following morning and work till 4 p.m. Have you had a sibling or friend undergoing medical training before? He/she sacrifices seven years of his/her life and pay more than other students while doing that. Yet, you feel he/she is asking for too much if he/she asks to be paid just a little above half his/her comtemporaries are being paid elsewhere. Take my case for instance, I'm an NYSC doctor who most of you won't agree to treat you. Yet, I'm made to handle this community hospital on my own. I work 24 hours a day and 7 days a week but the govt. pays me N35,895.00 every month. Kathleen, how many hours a day do you work? Do you work on public holidays and weekends? How much do you earn? Sad, isn't it? Whenever oil workers threaten to go on industrial action, your govt. quickly intervenes but when doctors are asking to be paid what they deserve, they are left unattended to and when they eventually down tools, people like you call them reckless, greedy and criminal. How about the irresponsible govt that doesn't care about the lives of its populace? You let them off the hook. Apparently, they get everything wrong except when doctors are involved. You are quick to quote the Hippocratic Oath but what favour have you personally offered a doctor because of his service to humanity? I'll stop here. Your conscience should do the rest.

  8. Ok i guess the doctors and their families came on all out to comment here.

    truth be told you lot just confirmed what a lot of us believe about you with the outbursts here.

    really, CONMESS, CONSHIT OR WHATEVER. i do believe you actually think that this strike will ensure that you get paid whatever you want?.

    my question is: if it so happens, which i daresay is more than likely given past antecedents in this country, that you do not get what you want, what will be the outcome?

    are all LASG doctors going to get on the next plane out of nigeria to go enjoy the "bumper" goodies abroad? i daresay by making this a do or die face-off that is the only honourable exit strategy. you dare not tell me you will arrive at some compromise and go back to work for the same "useless govt"!!

    Funny thing is now that you complain so much about this, perhaps its time for your umbrella body to begin to look beyond your collective arses at the bigger picture in nigeria. e.g. you complain of having paid so much to go to poor school, DO YOU EVEN REMEMBER THAT CERTAIN PEOPLE TAUGHT YOU IN THOSE SCHOOLS, AND ARE MORE THAN LIKELY EVEN WORSE OFF THAN YOU FOLKS ARE?

    i don't remember the Medical Guild raising a point about the welfare of the professors and their teaching environments/pay! Even saying a word about the students. OR IS IT MERELY A FUNCTION OF HOW MUCH YOU GET PAID? has your guild ever advocated for the nurses, the cleaners, the entire support staff? or u supermen can function in isolation?
    have you insisted that the govt equip its hospitals?

    i ask again IS IT MERELY ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU GET PAID?

    You see, reality is that the entire situation is bad. Nigerian Government ranks as probably the worst in the world. but when you say the only language the govt understands is strike, what do u think will be the outcome? HAVE WE NOT SEEN THIS SAME THING REPLICATED IN ALMOST EVERY FACET OF NIGERIA THAT INTERFACES WITH GOVT? even the much vaunted Pengassan and Nupeng strikes, please cite an instance of when they got what they wanted?

    The legend is that the medical profession has some of the smartest people in it, i don't see this mess as being very smart, truth be told.
    aiight, so the circus continues till both parties are "begged" to go back to negotiate and then compromise or is that not?

    meanwhile im yet to hear at any time that the medical body ever issued an apology for the numerous deaths they cause by drastic actions like this, not that of course it would help in any way…………………….

    BTW can anyone of you tell me the standard procedure when you folks mis-diagnose a patient and he dies? because it so happens i have been privy to such brain farts by you supermen twice at the general hospitals at ikeja and ifako-ijaiye respectively. i daresay since you "BLESSED gods" are so good at fighting for your rights, might be we "victims" can do too?

    MONEY, thats all, MONEY. please do not paper over this with fantastic stories of whatever it is that goes on in your profession. i daresay you decided to go into it, so its part of the rubbish that you "enjoy" with it. Have you ever spared a thought and asked how comparative professionals earn in this same country? how much do the lawyers, engineers earn? i guess your profession is superior to everyone else's since you can determine when we live or die!???

    There is virtually little or no respect from the public to medical professionals in public service, and i daresay this will not improve your popularity. matter of fact, your relevance these days is dependent on the level of poverty in this country. the higher it is the more relevant you are!!

  9. Ok i guess the doctors and their families came on all out to comment here.

    truth be told you lot just confirmed what a lot of us believe about you with the outbursts here.

    really, CONMESS, CONSHIT OR WHATEVER. i do believe you actually think that this strike will ensure that you get paid whatever you want.

    my question is: if it so happens, which i daresay is more than likely given past antecedents in this country, that you do not get what you want, what will be the outcome?

    are all LASG doctors going to get on the next plane out of nigeria to go enjoy the "bumper" goodies abroad? i daresay by making this a do or die face-off that is the only honourable exit strategy. you dare not tell me you will arrive at some compromise and go back to work for the same "useless govt"!!

    Funny thing is now that you complain so much about this, perhaps its time for your umbrella body to begin to look beyond your collective arses at the bigger picture in nigeria. e.g. you complain of having paid so much to go to poor school, DO YOU EVEN REMEMBER THAT CERTAIN PEOPLE TAUGHT YOU IN THOSE SCHOOLS, AND ARE MORE THAN LIKELY EVEN WORSE OFF THAN YOU FOLKS ARE?

    i don't remember the Medical Guild raising a point about the welfare of the professors and their teaching environments/pay! Even saying a word about the students. OR IS IT MERELY A FUNCTION OF HOW MUCH YOU GET PAID? has your guild ever advocated for the nurses, the cleaners, the entire support staff? or u supermen can function in isolation?
    have you insisted that the govt equip its hospitals?

    i ask again IS IT MERELY ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU GET PAID?

    You see, reality is that the entire situation is bad. Nigerian Governments rank probably the worst in the world. but when you say the only language the govt understands is strike, what do u think will be the outcome? HAVE WE NOT SEEN THIS SAME THING REPLICATED IN ALMOST EVERY FACET OF NIGERIA THAT INTERFACES WITH GOVT? even the much vaunted Pengassan and Nupeng strikes, please cite an instance of when they got what they wanted?

    The legend is that the medical profession has some of the smartest people in it, i don't see this mess as being very smart, truth be told.
    aiight, so the circus continues till both parties are "begged" to go back to negotiate and then compromise or is that not?

    meanwhile im yet to hear at any time that the medical body ever issued an apology for the numerous deaths they cause by drastic actions like this, not that of course it would help in any way…………………….

    BTW can anyone of you tell me the standard procedure when you folks mis-diagnose a patient and he dies? because it so happens i have been privy to such brain farts by you supermen twice at the general hospitals at ikeja and ifako-ijaiye respectively. i daresay since you "BLESSED gods" are so good at fighting for your rights, might be we "victims" can do too?

  10. This article originated from a brain fart. Most retarded piece of junk I've ever read.

  11. This is nt even an article..*walkin away to watch paint dry*.Oh Mr "stupido" Chima,it may actually be a wise thing for u to kip mute on wat u know little abt..Can make u live longer too(tank ♍ƺ later)..Medicine shld be a vocation w/o adequate remuneration?Dt is as blinkered as Ms Ndongmo's view or wateve her name is.So Drs dnt av bills to pay abi?Wat is even worse abt ppl like u is oda ppl had posted comments dt may hav educated u yet u eida refused to read it or ur too dumb to undastand it..If ur wife isn't a genius den dere really is no pt sending ur children to schl at all xcept its vocational schl(pun intended of course if u knw wat dt means).Cos if dey inherit ur brains dey will be kicked out(after u might av paid there way across Jamb)
    As 4 Ms Ndogmo or warefa she is,dis is her first article am reading and I can now see dt she's on d same wavelenght wit some1 dts got mental retardation..As for ppl dt hope to meet her gud luck to dem..I aint interested cos I may just bitch slap her..Dt has to be d most retarded piece of journalism ever…*kmt

  12. Kathleen I'm aware u r not a nigerian but a cameroonian but pls correct me if I'm wrong. I've read many of ur articles and most of the time u don't seem to get it. Many comments from readers of ur article r almost always against ur stand on the issue. This is also no different. Its hard for me to believe dat someone who have some degree of control of words is quite not in-tune with situations of the country, u talk as if u r on exile receiving reports without witnessing them. I expect u to be a graduate at least but I found out dat my nephew is junior high school seems to have a better understanding of dis country than u do. That said, I think its pointless trying to make u see sense in d situation @hand cos it quite obvious but let me ask u a question; are u doing this to get on d nerves of Nigerians (readers of ur articles), to catch fun or what? If its any of those then its utterly senseless and I implore u to desist from dis attitude.

  13. Dear writer, u have a right to ur opinion! We Drs are humans,our profession preaches compassion,we swore an oath,do not use all that to our detriment! Direct your grievance to those in the government!whoever are embezzling public funds.denying you ,I and our children our rights to standard healthcare,education,peace and other essentials.

  14. As I will always say, we are human, we are liable to mistakes and we are not perfect. Kathleen, I have always known you to be objective in your articles BUT on this one you were wrong. I am not a Medical Practitioner, the truth be told, the Doctors demand an APPOLOGY from you for calling them names. This article is one of your mistakes as human. Just do the right thing. Tender an APPOLOGY for this article. From your concerned follower 'Bigbroo' .

  15. I saw this post about doctors and I felt I needed to share this to encourage them:

    About DOCTORS:
    Somebody asked: "You're a Doctor?!?
    That's cool, I wanted to do that when I was a kid.
    How much do you make?"
    The Doctor replied: "HOW MUCH DO I MAKE?" …
    I can make holding your hand seem like the most important thing in the world when you're scared…
    I can make your child breathe when they stop…
    I can help your father survive a heart attack…
    I can make myself get up at 4AM to make sure your mother has the medicine she needs to live…and I will work straight through until 4am to keep her alive and start the day all over again! I work all day to save the lives of strangers…
    I will drop everything and run a code for hours trying to keep you alive!!!
    I make my family wait for dinner until I know your family member is taken care of…
    I make myself skip lunch so that I can make sure that everything I did for your wife today was correct…
    I work weekends and holidays and all through the night because people don't just get sick Monday thru Friday and during normal working hours.
    Today, I might save your life.
    How much do I make?
    All I know is, I make a difference.

  16. chima..you really need to take time out and spend a day with a doctor in a typical hospital. you will then have a little insight! there are very little professions with so much stress and extra ordinary consequences for the doctor and patient. As a house officer,my friend got pricked by a needle with a patient with hep B. the patient was to undergo dialyses and suddenly resisted violently. We spent 4hrs negotiating with the hospital medical director to sign the release of the post exposure immunoglobuin as he kept on asking.."who will pay for it"!! the market cost is 150,000 naira!! only the threat of strike bythe association of resident doctors released the medication within half an hour. You cannot understand what the system does to you. It turns ou to an animal.you work countless hours, you watch your colleagues get cursed,and infected daily..trust me..many things you dont want to know; and when you show your human sides…a post like the one you just posted turns up somewhere on cyberspace.

  17. A strike a day,keeps'the Doctor away.Nice title.I am sure Kathleen conceived this title first and saw how catchy it was and subsequently decided to write something,anything no matter how myopic and ignorant to sell her nice title…

  18. It's called an op-ed. She shouldn't apologise for having an opinion, regardless of how unpopular it is.
    There's always a fine balance to be struck between ethics and doctors'rights to a decent wage. Sounds like the g'vt needs to be doing more. I agree that medicine is a vocation. But that's no reason for abusing the goodwill of medical professionals.

  19. Aunthy kathleen, we are patiently waiting for Ÿ̲Ơ̴̴̴̴͡uя apology,dont bҽ embarrased to say Ɣ☺ΰ were wrong and apologise to Τ̣̣ђё doctors and everyone, it has happened before,journalist making grave mistakes by writing articles that damage their reputation and career path, but apologising can bҽ a form of damage control,dont leave if for too long, a word ΐƨ enough ….

  20. I'm a 'first-timer' on this blog and have read the article and several comments(for & against). I'd really love to read Kathleen's response to all of these.
    Lets all work in our own small ways to make this country the true pride of Africa. We can, that's a certainty.

  21. @Chima,
    read again Wole did not compare NMA and PENGASSAN in any way not even salaries, what he said was that government will quickly resolve PENGASSAN strike issues cos it will affect the oil money coming in while they will gladly ignore NMA strikes cos they could afford to let people die, they are less concerned.
    By the way if you don't know something, ask. It is actually unethical to admit a patient you know you don't have facilities to take care of so it is not just about being blindly compassionate and putting the patient and yourself in trouble.

    @Nenye Eneh
    I noticed too that her supporters have been silent. I like Kathleen a lot, she's very enthusiastic and I'll like to meet her but I feel she's wrong on this one and my respect for her will shoot up if she can admit she was wrong on this.

  22. I'm a 'first-timer' on this blog and have read the article and several comments(for & against). I'd really love to read Kathleen's response to all of these.
    Lets all work in our own small ways to make this country the true pride of Africa. We can, if we want to

  23. I can't bliv this girl just called medical guild a reckless organization. Well,me am not surprised am sure she doesn't ve a dr in her family or any member of her family is willing 2 study medicine. She quoted several lines from d oath but I didn't read anything about not seeking fees 4 your services,so she should shut up or go 2 medical sch & come out with a degree 2 offer free services. As a dr I pledged 2 serve humanity while my governor pledged 2 serve his people but yet he wants 2 sack these dr that wld take care of HIS PEOPLE. I support d strike fully,if d government feel d problem is from d dr,then y r they make frantic efforts on a daily basis 2 discredit them;1st it was d papers printing d salaries of drs followed by d so called protest by a nameless & faceless organisation in front of d state house. I'v never been disappointed by fashola's actions anyways,he's no differenet from those b4 him.OCWS,we'll never b stampeded

  24. Guess there aint much to add again xcept for Chima who believes doctors shd b philantropists with no source of income.I wonder though why he wouldnt sent all his children to med skool n allow them work under the nigerian condition with no complaint

  25. Dear Ms Ndongmo.
    I have read a number of your articles on Y!Naija and I usually find them quite interesting and very well thought out. I hate to admit that this one is quite disappointing and completely unfair to Doctors who practically put their lives on the line to help others. You really should apologize for this.
    PS: did you notice that even your regular supporters and praise singers are amazingly silent on this article both here and on twitter. You have made a mistake dear,be bold enough to say 'I'm sorry,I was wrong'.

  26. Kathyleen wrote this article as she felt or based on d information she had. I would like to invite you, after the strike is over to do some form of investigative journalism.
    You could follow up an emergency patient and watch everybody's response. I would like to mention here that you, as a non medical professional may not be able to distinguish between an emergency and a situation where the patient's relatives are anxious.
    Do this for a number of cases and at different times, in different hospitals and after that, interview the health workers. You wld come up with so many discoveries.
    For the man who talked about a patient with a cracked skull, let me inform you that medicare has hierachy. Where you know you do not have the facilities to care for a patient and you keep the patient in your hospital, you are liable. The Dr that referred would have referred bcos he knows that though the oda private hospital doesn't look as exotic to you, it is structured to handle more complicated problems.
    I have come across many patients who beg not to be referred to a govt hospital bcos dy feel 'I don't know anyone there', 'they would waste my time' etc. Some patients wld even ask to be allowed to die in a particular hospital than be referred. Unfortunately, this stems frm a lot of misinformation. Take this frm me, the physical look of a hospital is not a determinant in how good it is.
    Another point I would like to raise now is the talk about drs sending patients to outside places for investigations.
    Government hospitals have various categories and structures. Some are big enuf and run a fully equipped laboratory service, others may do only regular work hours or only certain investigations. If a patient is rushed in and an ectopic pregnancy is suspected (dt is an emergency by all standards), she may require a scan for confirmation b4 the surgery is done and delay would cost her, her life. Wld you expect d Dr to say, 'we wld wait till morning for our scan person to come' OR 'go quickly to this this or this place. Dy wld still be open. Go and do the scan and come back immediately'. On d oda hand, the patient may be in Ikorodu. Shld the Dr send that lady to Gbagada or ikeja at 2am to the other govt hospitals instead?
    I would like us to know that there is a lot of propaganda out there. The government doesn't want to pay and instead of facing the issues, they would rather call a dog a bad name to hang it.
    For ple dt complain Drs have dir private hospitals, I ask, 'do u have only one source of income? As long as the Dr doesn't use governments time for his private practice, what is the problem? Even these elders insulting us have theirs. If it was illegal, it would have been clamped down by now bcos the rules guiding these are very strict.
    So pls, let us get a more realistic picture b4 we write.
    Can u imagine doing a 48hr nonstop call duty at work over the weekend and only seeing d kids after work on monday (for a woman). Some countries have scrapped such work hours bcos of its toll on d Dr, d family and the society. Many Drs have been involved in accidents after such call hours. A colleague had to leave his car and enter an okada to work wen an emergency came up. He got involved in an almost fatal accident. (Who pays most of his bills?)
    Kathyleen, if u rili want to know what is going on, dnt antagonise us, just ask and we wld tell you, as far as our identity would be kept secret.

  27. @chima: it is very subjective of u 2 pick a case in isolation to make a generalized assumption…in research methodology and science we ll say your inference lacks validity.we r nt sure of d veracity of d reason behind d refferral.nigerian doctors and medical proffession are not perfect bt I am proud to say Nigerian doctors still hold their head high despite d suffocating environment.
    About not allowing ur children 2 study medicine..if u are typified by your sweeping conclusion then your children may nt even be bright enough to study Medicine.
    I will like to stress that medical education is in CHARACTER and ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE.d character part is well emphasised in medical school….

    It is a fact that the nigerian environment is adversely affecting the noble nature of medical practise and conduct of physicians bt d doctors are least to blame.

  28. From ♏ў perspective,i think this kathleen Ndongmo or whatever ΐƨ psychotic,and more accurately think She ΐƨ sufferenting from bipolar affective disorder,and right №w she ΐƨ in Τ̣̣ђё manic phase, if not why would she being a writer come here to write such biased and distasteful piece, busy insulting Τ̣̣ђё doctors by calling them criminals. Anyway someone should do her a big favour by getting her medications from yaba psychiatry hospital as a matter of urgency. Thanks

  29. Like some1 rightly commented its love ur neighbors as urself nt more
    Doctors r humans too..
    Fashola is claiming he can't pay wages imposed by d fed govt buh he was quick to impose increasd taxes recommended by d same govt..
    Councillors, who hold school certificate earn more than doctors need we say more.
    Fashola plans to or threatens to sack all the doctors, is that the way forward wheree is this done in any part of the world? Its d new doctors that take up d jobs I blame, buh they shud rembr d yoruba adage, d cane used for d 1st wife is on d wall for d new one.
    Even Kwara state that doesn't generate as much funds as Lagos, pays Conmess, so fashola wats ur excuse? U'v spent all d money on a grand bday party 4 ur ex boss?
    Its nt his fault buh d so called medical elders dt dnt want youths to grow..

  30. To say I'm disappointed is an understatement at this poorly executed piece! Why would you refer to Doctors as professionals?? Haba Ms Kathleen. For a moment, I had this tasteless feeling that you were 'hired' to do this. I've not needed the services of a Doctor in a couple years, nonetheless, because their profession is a 'service oriented' one, doesn't mean they aren't entitled to quality service as well. Please come back with a follow-up piece that's would've gone through thorough research and possibly some well thought out solutions as well. Also include an apology for the strong words used in this piece.

  31. U are obviously seeking favors from the govt. With more writers like u, Nigeria will remain a retarded country. Next time b more objective.

  32. Y!Naija, we need to talk about Ms. Ndongmo….

  33. Gertrude thankyou for pointing out the tip of the ice berg on doctor's compassion and humanity.personally I know how many times I have paid out of pocket for some indigent patients , but how many people can u help? You are only one person! note that almost half of the smartest science students were 'deluded' into joining a noble calling. Back in the day my father used to say as a doctor you may never be filthy rich but u will never lack and you will have job satisfaction. Unfortunately that no longer holds true in present day Nigeria. It is so frustrating for a doctor to work so hard and get to a point where he should start reaping the rewards of his hard work and is treated like a common labourer- 300 naira an hour? For all my plenty M B B S exams? Haba! The first day I was paid that in private practice I swore…… Never again.it is so bad that if my child approaches me and says I want to be a doctor, in Naija, I may actively discourage him or her. meanwhile outside it is a totally different kettle of fish! And to think that I spend hours away from my family and the comfort of my bed at ungodly times of the day in flfillment of 'my calling'. Kathleen rethink your article . doctors work hard but when the are faced with the harsh realities of soceital decadence, remember they are smarter than average they will always find alternatives because they know they deserve a lot more.

  34. An appalling article from the most myopic columnist. Not surprised though. She hardly does a very good research before coming here to dole out her rubbish. You claimed your brother is a doc but working in another country. Why is he not working in Nigeria? Poor remuneration and working condition I suppose. Before coming here with your poorly thought-out, annoying article, go and obtain Jamb form, enrol in any of the poorly equipped medical schools around, and swear to that Hippocratic oath and then, go to the market the day after your induction and see if the the statement "I'm a doctor" will be enough to get you goods at a cheaper price. Please put your brain before you pen and not vice versa.

  35. Lets face it. Why would the author call doctors CRIMINALS?! That's a strong word! Can you imagine that? Defaming doctors because they embarked on a strike legitimately? (mind you it is not illegal for them to go on strike) It is never acceptable to use such words. In a country where trillions of naira are mismanaged and embezzled under the guise of fuel subsidy. Lavish birthdays are organized with donated state funds. Who are the real criminals? She invited all the personal attacks on herself, she took the article personal like she had scores to settle. Nobody called her a CRIMINAL in the comments at least.

  36. "In fact, Nigeria currently records 0.4 physicians per thousand people compared to 0.27 in 2000"…..this statistics does not translate to any meaningful thing…what And what are u comparing….guess it wasn't quoted accurately…..the writer should not just dub/ copy and paste….she should first understand before quoting/writing anything….myopic article though..

  37. Keep it clean guys, we appreciate your comments.

  38. SubuhanalAhi.. Kathleen just came here to insult doctors. Please lawyers, what do you sue such person who insults one in the public for?

  39. I do feel the attacks on this writer is not fair. Things abt marrying or not marrying a Dr shld not be issues we r discussing.
    That said, while I agree with her that ple r dying, I may want to point out dt the federal govt hospitals are still working in the state. So emergencies can b referred there.
    That some people came on the Television to introduce themselves as concerned citizens, asking governor Fashola to intervene in this crisis and in the process, singing the tune of the govt about how terrible the Drs r is for me sad. Sad that this simple matter has degenerated to d level of renting crowds. Ds is not a political rally or an election period. Ds is a labour issue dt shld not have been allowed to degenerate to this point. Instead of ds media war, pls let both parties get back to d negotiating table.
    These issues shldnt become personal n d Drs shldnt b chased out of d country more n more. Pls, pls, pls, let's stop the name calling. I have seen many times wen these Drs contribute money to provide drugs 4 indigent patients n even donate their own blood in crisis situations. We appreciate them and we recognise the great work of Governor Fashola to improve the state. Pls, let this strike END. We need our hospitals functioning again.

  40. Aunthy Kathleen, you definitely read @SeyiTaylor's blog before writing this post. But you really didn't say anything new or proffer workable solutions. If the entire system is to be overhauled as you seem to suggest, don't you think the govt should drive such initiatives?

  41. Ms. Ndongmo gets no love 🙁

    My advice: Write about something you actually know about for a change. :/

  42. I suspect Kathleen wanted to marry a doctor but failed to. She's so jealous, malicious and unobjective!!

  43. There is hardly a doctor that is not bothered abt d bad state of things(facilities,personnel development etc) but the point is it is essentially govt duties and I know we v consistently complained to govt with little occassional success.

    The writer to me did a poor job by only drawing conclusions without detailed investigation and analysis that will make u provide a balanced reporting.

    Every worker in Nigeria needs to be treated well talk less of overworked doctors..

    Do u even know that doctors routinely contribute money to help indigent patients under their care @ least I know itz done in LUTH severally during my housemanship.Datz d empathic nature of our training @ work…we r nt greedy and wicked…

    So our corrupt,insensitive govt is the foundational problem.
    ALL THINGS R NT EQUAL IN NIGERIA.

  44. hmnnn..indeed, d writer is quite myopic in her thinkin..all they see is docs are well paid…..ehn so what, we are in nigeria not UK, US so u should not expect doctors to sit down and watch the nigerian film go on….see enough said, the govt messed up they should correct their mistakes not start insulting doctors with publishing their pay in dailies……like hell doctors are professionals……and dont forget we like 8th position in earnings by professionals in this country, just that if u employ one IT engineer, B.SC…Mst and all that, u can chose to support him with ond holders but u just have to employ all professionals in d medical profession cos they deal with life……and dont forget, they be human beings to…with more risks at dying young, family and all that…..inshort pls tell ur govt to put some sense in its doings simple!!

  45. If the majority carries the vote then it is very obvious that the writer's opinions are morbidly unpopular.
    The venom in her article is so strong.

    She is so myopic and unobjective that I suspect she probably wanted to marry a doctor but didn't succeed at it!! You can smell the malice in her.

    What you expect of someone venting into public space is a good dose of up to date information spiced with objectivity but alas! Our sister demonstrates such crass ignorance that I dare say my battery charger is even more informed and more objective on the issue of doctors strike than our eloquent and pretty Kathleen!!.

    She so clearly demonstrates that "some pple write because they have something to offer while others write because they have to offer something!"

    For the avoidance of doubts let us restate the causes of this strike
    1. Failure of the govt to implement CONMEsS after 13months of signing it
    (By the way conmess is doctors equivalent of national minimum wage)

    2. Intimidating and victimizing Queries to 1200 doctors at the same time!!!

    3. Militarising the hospitals with rapid response police, guns, armoured personnel carriers

    4. Threat of sack

    These are the causes of the current strike

    1. Is it too much if lagos doctors demand for the implementation of their own minimum wage?-CONMESS

    2. Federal doctors have been enjoying the conmess for about 3years. What else apart from strike could the doctors do after 3years of negotiating???? You and I know that strike is the ONLY language nigerian govt undersTands

    3. After making recommendations severally what else shd doctors have done to compel politicians to better equip and better fund the hospitals??

    4. U need to see the working conditions of most hospitals in lagos govt hospitals….it is a shame. So if doctors can't get govt to improve facilities is it too much to demand for their own justified wages???

    5. We all agree doctors brain drain (even internally as most doctors migrate to lagos) is a problem we have to reverse. Do you know that since the introduction of conmess the tide has gradually began to reverse. Across board implementation of conmess will change the health indices of nigeria dramatically bcos our doctors will stay more than leave

    6. No part of the Hippocratic oath says you must save patients at your own expense. If fact medical school training will tell you that you come first before the patient….you have to be alive and sound minded BEFORE you can treat someone else….even the Holy Book says love your neighbour as yourself.

    7. We compare our doctors to those in europe!!!! Pls we must compare things that are similar. The working environment, facilities AND REMUNERATIONS of docs in europe CAN'T be compared to those in Nigeria….its like comparing heaven and hell. Pay doctors in nigeria what their counterpart in europe earn and see if they'd leave the country

    8. If two pple are constantly fighting then at least one of them is crazy

    In the last 3 years medical guild has had 3 different chairmen and each of them has led a strike against the same governor. Its either those 3 different medical guild leaders are crazy or the G**t is crazy

    I rest my case

  46. Pingback: State of the Nation - Page 649 - StockMarketNigeria.com Forums

  47. This writer must be so daft I doubt if she had her O'levels in 3 attempts. If life expectancy is low, is it not lower with the doctors? She is one of those who wanted read medicine but could so much as come close. What myopia she displays. Shior!!!

  48. Well everyone is entitled to their opinion, but don't you think we will be of all men most miserable if as doctors we couldn't pay our bills or give our children similar benefits of good education and intellectual stimulation we were priviledged to be given by our parents all because we live in a corrupt soceity that does not value noble professions. We have an efflux of medical professionals because the grass is definitely greener on the other side. Her view is myopic and if u ask me quite puerile!

  49. We have in the past gone on strike for poor working conditions but to no avail. The goverment simply went to the hospitals with cameras show casing faulty equipments with no demonstrations to show the actual working condition of the equipments. Infrastructure-built by the construction company of an ex governor. Loads and loads of public-private initiatives that pay the owners rather than the unsuspecting public. Investigations at three times the cost of what the hospital labs will do it if and when they work. Free health care? The only free things are the hspital cards at first consultations,paracetamol and a very cheap anti hypertensive. What other ways can we make the government do the right thing? Dialogue? They insult our leaders. Warning strikes with skeletal services? Queries were earned. Any other bright idea????

  50.  think d author is not at all objective as she claims to be, like the point made by Bola,if the author's husband were to be a doctor, would she still refer to them as criminal,as she ever been to a public hospital to  the ratio of doctor to patient.or would she rather have a doctor has a son who can't afford a 3-bedroom flat or a new car not to talk of taking care of his parents and Family.u have all the statistics,so why haven't u used your Position towards achieving a better healthcare system. have seen favours done to actors,try buying things when your known to be a doctor. Believe you will be lucky if you pay double,these people are not angels,and  don't think they deserve to be described with those mean words.since you support the govt, then you are part of those who wants to  the doctors reduced to a 300 naira per hour earning.do the maths, think people will stop talking rubbish when all the doctors we have seek employments outside the country,then you'll beg the govt to pay any amount.

  51. Everybody has an instance of not enjoying public healthcare service, and everyone has a right to an opinion. However,
    I believe that the way to go is not denying the people access to the 'insufficient' care available by going on strikes.
    Rather the question should be how strongly have the caretakers of the medical profession fought the govt over new modern equipments and facilities(the allure overseas isn't the pay but the confidence engendered by standard).
    Let them strike not for the pay but for working conditions.

  52. Thank God I'm not the only person that saw the myopia written all over this article. Doctors are doctors, they pay bills like everyone else. It is also not your regular 9 to 5 job with the weekends free.

    I'm extremely disappointed in this article. *moving on*

  53. Its very disheartening and sad T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡  a lot of the bad statements coming ☺U̶̲̥̅̊T̶̲̥̅ of pple's mouth.some even H̶̲̥̅̊a̷̷̴̐√ε̲̣̣̣̥ political ambitions and anticipate rewards from government.The yoruba's say,use a needle T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ prick urself before using ɪ̣̝̇τ̣̣̥ on another.Let's H̶̲̥̅̊a̷̷̴̐√ε̲̣̣̣̥ a scenerio,whereby the author's husband Ȋ̝̊̅§ a doctor and she Ȋ̝̊̅§ just a graduate from another profession,would she H̶̲̥̅̊a̷̷̴̐√ε̲̣̣̣̥ reasoned and express herself the way she has?why ‎​D̶̲̥̅̊Õ̳͡es she H̶̲̥̅̊a̷̷̴̐√ε̲̣̣̣̥ T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ blame doctors instead of the govt ,who α̲̅я̩̥̊ε̲̣̣̣̥ more than capable of paying these doctors, T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ top ɪ̣̝̇τ̣̣̥ up,they issued querries and threaten T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ sack 'em,they should be responsible for the sufferings of the masses wen they refuse T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ be responsive and insensitive T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ the demands of doctors who sacrifice their life(health hazards wise etc),time,leaving their families,some not even unable T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ sustain relationships cos of the passion they H̶̲̥̅̊a̷̷̴̐√ε̲̣̣̣̥ for their job.Meanwhile,T̶̲̥̅hȊ̝̊̅§ same govt H̶̲̥̅̊a̷̷̴̐√ε̲̣̣̣̥ more than enough for lagos carnivals,birthdays,unofficial travels and other ways of spending on frivolous things. think the author has T̶̲̥̅Ơ̴͡ be more objective and channel her so called anger in the right direction.its so frustrating ,hearing words like greedy,criminal from pple U̶̲̥̅̊ make a lot of sacrifices for.

  54. Dear Kathleen, I understand your burning desires for change but you are buying the propaganda government is selling. Even Tony that lost his Dad doesn't agree with you. You should have spoken to the doctors too and heard their own side. Please and please, don't label doctors greedy and criminal. Can you imagine that? Doctors are not angels, they live in the same places, need to care for family (which they are often forced to be away from by work) like every other person.

  55. Dear Wole and friends,
    Kathleen has raised very relevant points here that instead of you to be writing epistles justifying, take a cue for solutions.
    Let us all fight the person to be fought but while doing that not shed more blood, that's all she's saying.
    Well done on another good piece.

  56. Need i say more? It is not by mistake that no one seems to agree with the content of this article. It sufix to say it lacks content and deep insight into the issue its meant to address. However,the author seems to have a good control of words, so i advise proper proper consultations and intelligent review of issues before writting. You obviously got some information buh could not put them togather to profer reasonable solution instead you joined the insensitive government to use derogatory terminologies for such pple who have sacrifised so much to maintain some santity in the health sector. There is a need for a compulsory three months crisis management training for all elective positions in Nigeria irrespective of academic qualifications. event of the day have proved that all of our elected representatives can’t manage crisis. During d last Dr. strike in Lagos State that lasted about three months, i know of five good young specialists Dr. with first class brain that got job from Saudi Arabia during d strike. The Saudi government sent their representatives to Nigeria during d period to recruit d best among our doctors. they conducted d interviews for them at Protea hotel, ikeja n d successful one among them were given free flight ticket including thre family, free accommodation n monthly salary above $4,000 .
    Another strike again, opportunity for countries that values wht we dont value.
    presently in public hospital in Lagos State, thre is one doctor to about 100 patients. whn u sack them n thy got better jobs outside d country. who will suffer d consequences? d masses not d riches n politicians.
    Can d governor allow NYSC Dr. to perform CS for his wife if d only option is that?
    Can d governor allow his parent to b treated by NYSC Dr.?
    the government n his commissioner know very well that only common man like me n u patronize d public hospital n we ve to b contented with thy give us, today is NYSC Dr. tomorrow may b medical students, whn thy still need more thy call for herbalists. just to treat common man n woman like me n u. dis can never happened in any advance country for u to abandon specialists n recruit NYSC Dr. to treat who?
    we don’t ve leader yet
    May God ve mercy on this country.

  57. Its a pity that peopl r just being emotional without objectivity.I hope d writer knows dat in some countrys peopl go on strike on behalf of their doctors but in nigeria,everybody watch doctors surffer nd keep quiet going about their daily activities as if doctors r not human beings.When ds doctors now go remember dat their children must go to private schools owned by our greedy govt officials nd fight for themselves we all cry wolf.We d citizens should realize dat doctors must survive too.

  58. It gets me annoyd when people say doctors should work based on compassion bcos its our calling.does compassion pay d bills for a doctor.if  mention 2a landlord dt I'm a doctor,wld it reduce d price of my rent.let's be reasonable when judgin.even a policeman dt does nuffin enters public transport free of charge.wen has society ever been compassionate about a doctor.u work harder dan anyother person,n wen u cry foul dt u deserve better treatment bcos d government doesn't deem it fit2 do right,it bcomes an offence…just be reasonable.dere's no where in dis world where doctors are treated as such.doctors are human beings o and not superhumans.d way u need food and shelter and basic things of life,we need those too

  59. This is a very distasteful and myopic article, I would advice the author that instead of googling things like Hippocratic oath and Conmess and then selecting the parts that suit her biased view, she should actually speak to real people involved.

  60. Pls tell her o…so myopic…she should also suggest other ways to go about demanding things from this Nigerian government…and i think some sections in hippocratic oath shouldn't be anyway..

  61. Wole has just said my mind.i lost my dad in 2010 because doctors were on strike and our over hyped governor BRF decided to act like he didn't. Why always Lagos? Why agree to fulfil an agreement and then totally turn your back on it? The doctors have families.they would need to take their children to school and provide for their families. You also know that the language our government understands is 'strike'. It is unfortunate but true. If BRF's mum or family member falls ill and the attention needed can only be got from a government hospital,would he allow the doctors in his state go on strike?

  62. @ Wole, well said! I'm not a doctor, but I agree with you completely!

  63. I managed to read your article to the end without cursing under my breath. I have read a few of your past articles so I know you have a gene of objectivity somewhere in your physiology. First,I must implore you to desist from tagging the Medical Guild a 'reckless' organization. I have often said one of the things that have constantly set Nigeria back is the trait of citizens swapping sentiments for objectivity. I am a doctor myself,do you think my relatives don't use this general hospitals? Do you think I send them to India for checkups?

    You correctly noted that these doctors are endangered species by your ratios of 2000 to date. Have you asked what can be done to stop the dangerous trend? The LASG hospitals are closed down but the FG hospitals are open,have you asked why LUTH is the only teaching hospital built by the FG in a state of more than 18m people? Have you asked why most people cannot afford reddington and st nicholas?Do you blame the doctors for the gross poverty in the land? Let us be objective!This govt is insincere,they reneged on a 13 month agreement while the doctors were WORKING all the while,and now they prefer to intimidate and threaten with crass arrogance and you blame the doctors? The last strike by any doctor in the UK was in the 70's,that is a system that works! Do you wonder why NUPENG threatens a strike and govt runs up and down to negotiate? Becos they are concerned about revenue they will lose yet doctors sound warning strikes and you issue queries! Obviously that is a govt that is more concerned about monetary gain than human capital and YET,you blame the doctors for that?

    Before you quote the oath of ethics you think doctors swear to,enroll in a medical school and undergo medical training! I remember my oaths,thank you and trust me,Hippocrates didn't synthesize that oath with this current nigeria in mind!

    The decay in the health sector is a reflection of the general systemic failure of the Nigerian state,blame that on the doctors also?

    I lost a close Aunt in Jan when LUTH was on strike,I lost another close family friend that same period still from that strike! How dare you point fingers at the doctors and label them 'greedy'!

    The system is rotten and keeps rotting,until govt becomes responsible and responsive to the electorates,the chaos won't stop!

    Dear Kathleen,I understand and appreciate your urge to discuss burning societal issues but kindly do so as objectively as I know you can be! Sentiments clouds human judgment persistently.

    1. Wole,pardon me but I think it is your own reaction that is just a bit sentimental and not Kathleen frank intervention. I have said it and I truly mean it: these days I tend to see Nigerian doctors in the same light as I do our policemen.Both are extortionists. I also think that the reason doctors in Nigeria behave the way they do is because a lot of round pegs have found themselves in the square holes of the medical profession.People simply read medicine in Nigeria because they are bright and not because they have even the slightest instinct to care for sick people.A lot of those who are doctors in Nigeria want to earn salaries comparable to what bankers and oil workers earn and they quickly point to their years of training and all that shibbolet to justify it.And it makes you wonder; even in the UK and the rest of the West, do doctors earn nearly the same as oil workers in the same sense Wole here tried to smartly compare PENGASSEN with the NMA? Just two days ago here in Kaduna where doctors have not started a strike, a car accident victim with very grave body injuries that included one that left his skull torn into two and his spinal cord affected was taken to a private hospital alive and conscious.Guess what the doctor on duty did: he claimed they could not attend to the victim because they had no facilities to do so.He then bizarrely referred them to another private hospital which curiously is even less endowed than his. Now, everyone who knows how this works says the reason the hospital refused to attend to the victim is because they feared his injuries are too grave and that he might die in the hospital and give the place a negative image.This was inspite of the fact the victim's family could afford to pay for whatever the cost of initial treatment would be pending further referrals to a teaching hospital. And I ask; why are Nigerian doctors so cavalier about the health conditions of patients including those that are emergencies? Why would a private hospital with doctors who are fairly well paid refuse to treat a patient initially brought to them simply because they have instinctively given up hope of the patient surviving his ailment? In the US or the UK where our doctors quickly refer to as places where things work, no doctor, be she in a public or private hospital dares reject a patient under such, or infact ANY, flimsy excuses without risking losing his practice and even being potentially charged for criminal neglect. Even the best hospitals abroad record fatalities once in a while and Nigerians who can afford to, still go to such hospitals to be treated, regardless.In Nigeria, being a doctor is now being equated to being a demigod by the doctors themselves.If a doctor who I presume is a smart person feels the medical profession isn't paying him the kind of money he deserves just because he is a doctor, then let him make the switch to a profession that pays the kind of salary he thinks he deserves. Medicine should be a vocation, as Kathleen says, and that is not a place for just any smart person looking to earn the public prestige that acquiring a medical degree seems to give as well as the millions to go with it.This is the same reason I have vowed that none of my kids will be doctors no matter how brilliant they are in their school results IF they do not show an innate and instinctive love for wanting to help people without any corresponding undue expectation of a reward for doing so. We must rid medicine of quacks and charlatans, and I don't mean just people who do not have the requisite academic qualifications.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail