Health care that needs health care

I was greeted by the sounds of children crying. Their mothers ever so desperately trying to gag them by shoving nipples into their tiny mouths. A nurse walks past the corridors filled with bedridden patients. She is gracefully swiping on her tablet. I peep – YouTube.  She is streaming YouTube videos. Her heart unmoved by the sights and sounds. Pathetic. It looks like the lions share of the budget goes into marketing and useless PR. The ratio of doctors to patients is clearly low. You sit by the waiting area waiting for the sound of your name. This is like waiting for your name to show up flashing on television screens announcing you have won the lottery. It’s pathetic. What irks me the most is the carefree attitude of the caregivers. 

The scent of death is in the air. You have an ailing patient and a nurse so casually asks you to find a stretcher for your patient. You have no idea where to start. You do not work there. The help desk is just but a desk. You will get no help rather than a casual “Tembea tembea kijana utapata tu.” Meanwhile the blaring p.a system is churning out bits of useless information for check-in procedures. The place couldn’t get more confused than a female stripper at a gay club. By God’s grace you go find a stretcher. You manage to get your patient registered. You think you have cleared all the hurdles. But the game has just begun. A long waiting game.

In my wait I’ve seen two patients breathe their last. I’ve seen a young man thrashing on the floor in disbelief trying to wake his father up. It’s heartbreaking. Again the nurses pass by totally unmoved. I might talk to some of them and get their side of the story. But for now it’s sad. Ambulances stream in with more patients. You haven’t been served. It’s getting cold and your patient is shivering. You see others with blankets so again you go to the desk. They blankly tell you to go find one. This instance I went off gave them a piece of my mind. They point at an abandoned stretcher and ask me to take the blanket that’s lying there. I’m in disbelief. I don’t know who used it or what they were suffering from. It could be contagious. It’s just unhygienic. At this point I realise it would be easier to go out and buy our own blanket. Luckily we had a shoal in the car. This served as a blanket for a while.

It has been now eleven hours. Finally we saw a doctor. Glance was more like it. Our patient got admitted. That was just the beginning of a new nightmare. They literally had to find a bed for her. Then they had to find space for it. This was another two hours. By the time we were done I was also sick. Sick to the stomach by the pathetic service they pass as world class.  How did they get ISO certification? But mine are just rants. In this country for quality health care you need to be moneyed or have a comprehensive insurance cover. The government one is a joke.

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