I like the hospital for one thing: it humbles everyone. This is not to say there is still no special treatment (special wards exist) , but it makes man a respecter of place, time and possible eventualities. The hospital as a home for the sick is a respecter of no one, just as illness is a respecter of none.
It is a cold Thursday night when Mr Kuli rushes one of his staff, Abu to the emergency unit just when the quiet of the night was starting to take hold. Abu has sustained an industrial accident, he has a couple of fractures and is bleeding into a closed fracture and through some external bruises. Bleeding needs to be arrested as soon as possible and life saved, so the doctor on duty gives a prescription list for Mr Kuli to buy for Abu while he executes emergency care. Then Mr Kuli adjusts his suit, and flares up:
‘How dare you send me to buy things for one of my employees? Don’t you know he is one of my staff? Do you know who I am? I’m the owner of the company. I send my boys to do this and do that, and now you are sending me to run an errand for one of the people I send.’
‘Sir, his life is at stake here, if you don’t get the required medication, adequate care would not be given, and he may even lose his life.’ Dr Abe explains.
‘Then you go and get it yourself! Do you know who I am? How can you think of even sending me?!’
You see, Oga Director is the owner of his company. Raising his head and shoulders, he announces to everyone how important he is, and how it is the doctor who should be the one to buy the drugs. It has quickly become a battle of overbloated egos.
Dr Abe is fuming now. It has quickly become a battle of over-bloated egos.
‘Oga if you cannot buy it, leave it. You brought him here, your name and phone number is on the case note, we would simply document your statement and state how you impaired further management, there are other emergencies to attend to.’
Oga Director continues to shout.
I don’t know why people would come and be shouting up and down in the hospital. Who cares about who you are or what you do, we are just interested in patient management. It is even sad to see them talk and behave inappropriately towards health workers. Some think doctors are at their beck and call and not entitled to a life or feeling of theirs and as such can be spoken to or treated anyhow.
The crisis management team soon arrive with their cohort; every team member is grim faced and focused on just one thing – the patient and his management.
They take the patient’s history, document and examine. They write their own plan of management and hand it over to Mr Kuli, and as if rehearsed, they take their leave simultaneously. They move over to the next patient without even giving Mr Kuli a second look.
It is just sardonically hilarious as the situation reminds me of the man in the Bible who came all the way to meet Jesus because his servant was ill.
He left his work to meet the messiah to send a healing word for his servant but here Mr Kuli is wearing suit, he’s a big man, Oga Director. His neck is thin and his head is small, but he is wearing big man suit and has a fat bank account, how dare anyone send him to do anything? Big men do not run around for their boy boy. I can only imagine what if this was his son? Oh yeah. I cannot tell if this worker is younger or older but if he was his son would he say his son was too young for him to run around for his medication? The pettiness that holds some people bound even when life is at stake is astounding.
Anyway, Dr Abe returned with his team to review Abu and of course another prescription was written for Mr Kuli. In fact, Mr Kuli was given about four more prescriptions. Observers of the exchange between Dr Abe and Mr Kuli did little to conceal their grins as they watched this battle of wills unfold.
That night, Oga Director finally realises that we are nothing but pencils in the hand of the creator. Mr Kuli leaves soon after dawn. He sends in another staff of his, better suited to run errands and do what is needed to safe the life of Abu.
The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all.