We left off with the advantages of visting a public hospital especially secondary/tertiary centers. If you didn't get the memo, click here. So lets get straight into it.
1. Expect a queue
Expect a queue the length of an anaconda.Seeing as a lot of Nigerians will visit a public hospital (especially after reading our last post, we dream generously), you should not be surprised. Accept that times are hard and we all look to take advantage of the cost cutting that government hospitals provide. So take a book or catch up on social media. You could use that time to update yourself on your favorite sites, including hopefully yours truly
2. Expect bureaucracy
A lot of times, someone is rushed into the hospital by anxious relatives who want immediate attention only to be told "Go open a card". It can be frustrating. This red tapism is present in other segments of the hospital. For instance, you cannot jump to see my consultant. You have to be referred from the accident and emergency or from the general physician or from our clinic. Usually you'll find out that such rules are laid down to prevent chaos in the system.
3. Expect delays and general inconvenience
One of the first things you'll notice in the public hospital is the seemingly deliberate attempt to make things inconvenient. You pay in the east to collect a card in the west to see a doctor in the north. The location of the lab and pharmacy is another issue entirely. Due to the huge volume of patients these facilities give healthcare to, you may also have to wait a while to get your laboratory workup. And if you have a relative on admission, you will quickly notice the hospital isn't a hotel! So plan for your accommodation.
4. Expect some brashness
Health workers come from different backgrounds. They also have different issues troubling them. However they must all come to work. So while a good proportion of health workers are as cool as cucumber, some are about as smooth as sandpaper. Allow them be. So long as you have a card, you'll be attended to. So join the queue and wait your turn. You may also want to understand that with the degree of workload they have, even the most patient health worker may occasionally lose his cool. So dont take it so personal.
5. Nigerians will be Nigerians
We generally like to cut corners. So expect the queue jumping, the inside deals, the abrasiveness of some and the attitude of those who feel better by causing others discomfort. It is ironic as these are persons have come to recieve some form of health care too! Do your best to ignore the ignorant.
Armed with these points, you may find your experience if any wouldn't be so disconcerting.