Imagine a busy general out-patient department (GOPD), where patients scheduled to see the doctor, as a follow-up to initial visit, far outstrip patients presenting on a first time basis. Imagine where the doctor-to-patient ratio is usually more than 1:500, depending on the centre. Imagine where the facilities, built over 10 years ago is expected to still serve its purpose despite the population explosion recorded across the country.
This is the pathetic truth in a typical developing country. This means that to get the best from the health system, citizens are meant to do more waiting, more perseverance and ultimately more patience. This is what is observed in a typical government-run hospital here in Nigeria. Exhibiting patience on the system, may translate to better service from the professionals.
So, you can then imagine my shock when a patient was screaming on doctor (a female) for a reason most who heard found as baseless.
This was how it happened;
Doctor: Good morning Sir, how may I help you today?
Man: I was here last week because of my right leg pain. I hit it on my iron bed, and the doctor sent me for an Xray.
Doctor: So where is the Xray result, because I can see here in your file that you have been placed on analgesics to reduce the pain. Without that Xray, we can go no further in treating you.
Man: The Xray people, said there have been no power for their machine and with the fuel scarcity, the cannot run the generator set.
Doctor: Sorry, I cannot help you. Get the result, so that we can make way. Please, step outside let the next patient come in.
Man: This is why I don’t like Doctors and hospitals. Always feeling proud. Instead of attending to me, you are sending me away.
Doctor: Sir!! You are speaking at the top of your voice and you are making other patients uncomfortable. Do not create a….
Man: Nonsense!!! I want you to be through with my treatment today. I have to report to work next week with a medical report which you would prepare since today is Friday. You have to do something. I ll not be paid my salary if I don’t go to work on Monday.
She felt overwhelmed and walked out of the room as the patient watched on.
The rest of the patient for that day were not seen because if the attitude of just a patient. I feel that he would have handled the scenario differently and save all the stress, not minding the variables involved in his predicament. As a patient, he contravened every thing about the name. A patient is one who is patient with his condition and with his doctor or other healthcare giver.
So I ask. Who truly loses when a patient becomes Impatient?