by Ige Oluwatosin
Just like a “fail-safe” device, which is equipped with two different inbuilt system, a “primary” one, and a “secondary” one, with the aim of ensuring continued operation by the “secondary system”, which picks up automatically and safely if the “primary system” fails, so is LAUTECH Medical School. We have 2 Teaching Hospitals and it’s our pride. No other institution has this privilege in Nigeria. We are sure that if one is on strike (as it is a norm in Nigeria), the other will ensure a continued progress in our Medical Training. We have world class Teachers(Doctors) and bright students and we are known for excellence and we are on high demand both within and outside Nigeria.
Nevertheless, we have a predicament constantly bedeviling us. Our fail-safe system is constantly in failure altogether. Our two Teaching hospitals combined together have been made to become an invalid by the heartless people in power. Strikes have been our acquaintance for long. Our Teachers (Doctors) and other health workers are constantly being starved by the two state governments that claims its ownership. They demotivate them, yet they do not lose heart in teaching us (unless their elastic limit is exceeded as we have presently in the two Hospitals, for it was 6 months ago that they were paid last, despite working).
What about patients we care for? It is quite certain that many patients die during strike actions, many come later with worsened and unsalvageable conditions, which is in the first place preventable, even by a “mere” counsel from his Doctor.
We are unhappy and disheartened, for these people in power and their family members don’t patronise these health facilities for their medical care; they have no second thought in travelling abroad for medical care. Perhaps if they patronise their state owned Teaching Hospitals and lose their loved ones because of strike action, they will know the value of human life, and how it feels to lose a loved one merely because of a preventable condition. We believe they will answer someday for this act of nonchalance towards human life.
What about we students? It’s a norm to use at least a half of your normal training period (3 years) as extra years, without repeating any class. Our journey has been made to progress in snail’s pace. We are often shy of reponding to the question “what level are you now”. Parents are frustrated too. When will we provide for our own house? How would you feel if your 3 years junior (in another Medical School) is now ahead of you, knowing that Medical Profession is a hierarchical one. That is our condition!
While this is frustrating, we do not regret picking this great institution as our citadel of learning. We believe in providence, and that God knows how to compensate and restore the lost years.
Above all, we pray that someday, we will have Governors who still retains their sanity in understanding the worth and the sanctity of human life; who will do the right thing at the right time and attend to the cry of the starving health workers.
We are eager for those blessed days when we students will be able to make feasible projections for our futures and escape this perpetual uncertainties that is inherent in our system. Amen