WHEN DEATH KNOCKS AT THE DOOR, THE DOCTOR IS LOOKED UPON AS A god. When he accepts the challenge, he is looked upon as an angel. When he cures the patient, he is looked upon as a common person. When he asks for his fees, he becomes a devil. Who really is a doctor; a Samaritan? The business of saving lives and the business of making money in medicine has been a huge tussle recently over the years. It is not unconnected to the dwindling prestige and honour attached to the profession in our father-land.
When one thinks about the course of this profession starting from the medical school, one question will be answere3d severally – Is it going to be worth it? The 6 long years of study is not enough to form the basis for judging how worthy it’ll be. A variable factor, X which is the number of years industrial actions will gulp. Nowadays, every form of strike affects medical students – N.M.A, ASUU, MDCAN, NLC, NURSES’ and probably soon; ‘’Hospital maids’’ strike. The feeling gets arguably worse when one realizes that those classmates of his that graduated after 4 years are already obtaining their masters degree.
It is however saddening to realise that regard for this noble profession is slowly dropping and in fact, over 16,000 have once been suspended in the country before. Moreso, it has become commonplace to hear the ‘’Hippocratic Oath’’ been quoted by anyone to reiterate to doctors, the sacred call to medicine. Unfortunately, though there is love in sharing, it is inappropriate for our health sector to share in the pains of the suffering economy, HEALTH IS WEALTH.
Many people believe the gains are in the pipeline. Unfortunately, the unpredictable state of country has made many people think that the ‘’pipeline could be vandalized’’ .In Nigeria, anything can happen. The decaying state of our systems has deeply eaten into our Health sector. And if health is wrong sector is in a coma, what will happen to other sections, especially when Nigeria had the lowest health budgetary allocation in the world?
The joys of been addressed as ‘’DR’, the immense prestige and honour of being seen as a Life Resuscitator are just too pleasurable to despise. They form the basis for a teeming population of Nigerian lads dreaming of the white apparel and a stethoscope. It is truly an amazing dream, a call to mentorship.
With these juicy side benefits, a quick review of the pocket transformation of this prestige is needed. It is necessary to review a few salient facts:
‘’ Whether working in the upstream or downstream, Engineers in the Oil and Gas industry will continue to take home big pay packets. They will be among the highest paid in Nigeria.
The Oil and Gas engineers are the 3rd highest paid in Nigeria after Investment bankers and Commercial online pilots. Salary range is #3.5 – #6.3 million per year.’’ – NigerianCareers.
Interestingly, Obstetrics and gynaecologists are the highest paid in Nigeria with a quoted salary of about #2.5 to #5.2 million per annum.
In the year 2012, it was declared that 77% of members of the association of black doctors in the United States of America were Nigerians. This accounts for the ever-increasing drain in the best brains available for the development of our country.
Indeed, the level of intelligence and brilliance demonstrated by medical students over the years has shown that medical students won’t just succeed in other departments but will perform at an unbelievable standard and most, with a first class. This is evidenced by the performance level in their 100l (same courses).If based on a percentile, they will be on the 99th percentile and probably the highest in other departments will be on 85th percentile. If cramming is required, medical students will deliver. If understanding is required, they will deliver. Only few feats better describe brilliance.
Health cannot be undermined and Nigeria cannot afford to continue to lose its intellectual investments. We must all at all levels, do all we can to bring back the glory of the profession and improve our healthcare delivery. Strikes must be prevented as much as possible as there are many other better ways of conflict resolution. We do not wish to degrade to such a state as to travel abroad to treat cases like typhoid and malaria, and so we must SAALVAGE THIS.
Restoration/Transformation agenda should be pursued by all stake holders. The budgetary allocation must be improved upon from the just above 3% to the 15% WHO (World Health Organization) recommended standard. This will create a suitable atmosphere for practise and also encourage technological improvement and research, without which no sustainable development can be made. The people must realise the role of doctors not only when they are in need. And finally, the conduct of doctors must be better. We must move from just citizens to Patriots. Patriots that participate, that exercise civic responsibilities. Patriots that are vibrant enough to know when to move and when to stay. A lot more can improve our health sector and prevent the thoughts of moving from O n G (oil and gas) from O n G (obstetrics and gynaecology)
Happiness is what many people desire with unquenchable passion. Happiness and success however are linked. A lot of people believe that success is a key to happiness, but happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Whatever we do, let’s be happy.
Credits: Ogunmuko Tolulope.
Chapter President,JCI University Of Ibadan.