The Stethoscope

Sell us your mother!

Nigerian doctors cannot walk into Europe, America, Turkey, India or even South Africa and set up a hospital. You cannot even just hop off a plane and start consulting clinics or treating patients.

Foreigners from Europe, America, Turkey, India or even South Africa can walk into Nigeria and set up a hospital. You simply find a lackey whether a Nigerian doctor or a politician and start a consulting clinic or treating Nigerian patients. You can also set up a billboard advertising your big hospital in Dubai or Saudi Arabia on any major street in Nigeria.

You simply do what you like so long as you have the money! In Nigeria, you will find someone who will take the money, trample on the National flag, sell their inheritance or simply sell you their mother; if the price is right! It is called business regardless of whether it destroys the future for generations unborn! It’s me, myself and my family! What can I gain today?

Stomach infrastructure
Many organisations and groups have located enterprises to other countries because our representatives demanded remunerations and kickbacks for themselves! How long are we to continue to play into and suffer from this stomach infrastructure? This abject poverty of self-awareness, a complete lack of self-respect and totally devoid of nationalism.

Anyway, this is not even the story. It is estimated that Nigerians spent $2.5b (that is about N1.25t) on foreign medical trips yearly, most of the cases are frivolous and could be handled in Nigeria. Many countries, companies and even individuals are therefore longing after the luscious Nigerian healthcare cake. It is not enough for them capturing the many patients (including Mr. President) who troop out daily for medical tourism.

Many of the organisations are now looking to establishing a strong hold right inside Nigeria in manners similar to the market dominance currently enjoyed by the likes of Spar and Shoprite. Study after study are being conducted to analyze the financial returns in doing business in Nigeria.

Opportunity areas of interest include health infrastructure; medical equipment, devices and technologies; financing; consulting services and other areas where Nigerians are backward in realizing the huge potential resources they are sitting on. Or aren’t we?

Let me give you some examples.
1 : We cannot seem to be able to work together harmoniously with other Nigerians. There are Nigerian doctors well capable of performing open heart surgeries but the National Hospital is happiest collaborating with foreigners.

2 : We advertise our stupidity and colonial mentality openly. A hospital in Abuja advertises that it will be conducting clinics and operations on patients in collaboration with Chinese doctors. They even said that the Chinese team can treat patients cheaper than Nigerian doctors from the Diaspora.

3: We promote results from other countries as our own. Another hospital is collaborating with Indian doctors to perform kidney transplants even though there are Nigerian doctors well capable of doing the procedures locally.
The operation has been successfully performed many times over at Garki Hospital, Abuja. Yet, the hospital in Abuja touts the Indian results as its own.

4: We frustrate local talents and pay them less than foreigners. The Akwa Ibom Specialist Hospital started operations boasting it had foreign doctors and specialists. Why? Why rubbish local doctors in this way and play into the colonial mentality of yester years? And then, when they cannot aff ord to pay the foreigners, they look around and start employing local doctors at much cheaper rates but still expecting the same quality of care!

5 : We welcome foreign doctors with red carpet reception and many appear first in Aso Rock! Indian, Chinese and other foreign doctors can simply waltz into Nigeria and start operating on patients without respect for our local health establishments and in utter disregard and disdain for both local practitioners and the Nigerian people. When things go wrong, they simply pack their bags, leaving death and destruction behind.

Sell us your mother
It seems that there are people who can be bribed, paid, convinced or simply bullied into selling their birthright, their children’s inheritance, our natural resources, entitlement and future, even perhaps their own mothers to foreigners.

It is a big shame that politicians, doctors and other healthcare practitioners do not appreciate the massive business opportunities and remunerations possible if we develop our healthcare infrastructure, by our own efforts, for ourselves.

Big business is coming into the Nigerian healthcare space to conquer and carry our inheritance away at a canter. They can only achieve this if we fail to appreciate what we have and the huge potential that exists for all.

When big business calls, and asks for your mother’s hand, will you sell? Will you sell out your motherland for base immediate gratification? Or will you realise that we have the world at our feet and can dictate the dance (Featured artwork by Dr Remi Desalu)

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