“The health and well-being of my patient will be my first consideration” says the Declaration of Geneva.
It is not uncommon for Medical Doctors to take the Hippocratic oath and here in Nigeria the declaration of Geneva once they graduate from school and become a member of the medical profession.
However, not every doctor, in fact most doctors do not uphold this oath or declaration especially in the face of the harsh economic reality. The reality of modern day living has prompted most doctors to focus on money rather than humanity. Doctors are becoming more money conscious and have placed money over and above saving human lives first. Most doctors have not dedicated their lives to the service of humanity. Payment of bills, the stress of running a business and the dictates of enormous financial obligation has taken its toll on them and made them deviate farther from their calling. I don’t blame them though, it’s just reality.
But quite different is the tale of Kolad Hospital as depicted by this account told by Solomon Oyefusi.
A driver in a private school at Ikorodu- Nigerians are not all evil and dubious as many are inclined to believe. There are very good people in Nigeria as can be seen in the medical attention received at Kolad Hospital, opposite LASPOTECH 1ST Gate, Ikorodu, Lagos. In early November, 2017, an unfortunate accident happened @ his home @ Oke Imuti, Ikorodu. His wife had wanted to make lunch in the room where he resides. He lives in a single room apartment popularly called ‘face me I face u’. He stepped out from his house to get back to his school. Within a split second, he heard an explosion and he ran back to d direction of the explosion to see what happened. Then another explosion followed. On getting back d direction of explosion, lo and behold, it was from his house. On d balcony of his residence, he met his wife, hand on head and his 16 year old son. His wife had inadvertently lighted a camping gas which she had put on, forgetting it was on. Thus the explosion. His son escaped the first explosion, but turning back he saw his mother burning and went back to save his dear mother and then the second explosion, engulfing the son. Neighbours brought them out. He saw his beloved wife and son writhing in pain. He called an okada to take the wife and son to the hospital – his neighbours screamed that ‘this is not okada matter o’. A neighbour gave him his car key to drop them at the hospital. His intention was to get to the General Hospital, Ikorodu. On his way, due to bad road and traffic jam, he had to stop. His wife was about giving up for dead. He got down from the car and asked a by stander d nearest hospital. They pointed at Kolad Hospital. On getting there, the medical personnel took charge of the whole scenario. Not asking for a kobo. The patients were wheeled in. Injections upon injections, drugs upon drugs. He was mouth agape. The next day, the skin of the patients started pealing out. By the fifth day, the wife’s body was all white from head to the waist. Her hair all gone, eye lashes, lips, all body swollen and all white. Same situation for his son. They were now smelling. Still the hospital persevered. They were on their feet all these days, and had not come to ask him for a dime. He started ‘looking at them with one eye’. Are these people in their right senses at all? On the fifth day, they came to him. Now, he was scared that they have come in for the ‘kill’. They asked him for his name for the first time – clerked him and left, he became uncomfortable. He is a driver at a private school and really will not have d resources to off set the debt from a private hospital. On the seventh day, he was given d first bill of N20,000, which he paid. He thereafter went to the doctor, telling him that it will be better to take his wife and son home. The doctor looked at him incredulously and said ‘you cannot be serious’. On the 10th day, he was now really worried thinking that his bill will now be as much as N300,000. He told d doctor to discharge d patients that they will be coming from home. On discharge, he was given a final bill of another N20,000, he was mouth agape. Of that bill he paid N10,000 remaining a balance of N10,000. He asked the doctor, why this kindness. The doctor smiled and said that all he did, he did on humanitarian ground, his main motive being to save lives. That he just did not have it in mind to bill him appropriately. Solomon’s next appointment to see the doctor with his wife and son is on 7th December, 2017. May our Good God bless the said doctor and his hospital. With stories like this we are happy and have great hope in our country. We still have great people living amongst us. Thank you Kolad Hospital. Thank you.🙏🏾🙏🏾
This story should serve as an inspiration to other Doctors and owners of hospital to put health and life first before money. It shows that there are still some Doctors who have upheld the declaration of Geneva which is stated below;
- I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE to dedicate my life to the service of humanity;
- THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF MY PATIENT will be my first consideration;
- I WILL RESPECT the autonomy and dignity of my patient;
- I WILL MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life;
- I WILL NOT PERMIT considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
- I WILL RESPECT the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
- I WILL PRACTISE my profession with conscience and dignity and in accordance with good medical practice;
- I WILL FOSTER the honour and noble traditions of the medical profession;
- I WILL GIVE to my teachers, colleagues, and students the respect and gratitude that is their due;
- I WILL SHARE my medical knowledge for the benefit of the patient and the advancement of healthcare;
- I WILL ATTEND TO my own health, well-being, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard;
- I WILL NOT USE my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
- I MAKE THESE PROMISES solemnly, freely and upon my honour.
Now that will all know this oath, we can find a better way of holding hospitals and doctors who demand payment first before saving the lives of patients accountable because this has led to the death of many. But in all of these let us not forget the kind gestures of Kolad Hospital in saving lives before requesting for money.