By Dr. Biodun Ogungbo
There are times like this that I wonder how we will ever get back to an honest society. Two stories told below highlight just how low our dear society has sunken.
The first story
I was at Dunes Shopping centre in Abuja where I saw the staff well represented in Covid-19 preventive face shields. I thought it was a great idea and decided to buy some for the hospital.
At least the security boys who interact with the public closely can have some measure of protection. Well, it turns out that the pharmacy sells the face masks. So, a few steps
and I was in the pharmacy to inquire about it. Of course, they have and so I bought some. Each was sold for N3000.
But, get this!
The face masks are made in Lagos, Nigeria and are sold for N700 each. Shipping to Abuja might add a little more to the cost of a box of 15 but not that much.
So, why has the pharmacy inflated the price to such an astronomical level for a piece of plastic made in someone’s living room?
The second story
We ordered drugs from a pharmacy. The pharmacist asked my nurse how much they should add to the bill for her personally. This way, the bill to the hospital is inflated and the balance will be given to her as rebate or commission for buying from them. She refused and said we do not practice like that.
They were shocked because apparently, that is the first time anyone has refused. Many of the nurses, pharmacists who buy drugs from them actually ask for and insist on having some money added to the bill.
So, for those private practitioners out there who rely on their staff to purchase drugs and materials on behalf of the hospital, welcome.
You are truly being scammed by your own ”reliable” staff. It is truly terrible that the people who are supposed to protect the business, who are being paid a salary from the business are the ones sabotaging it.
Why are we so cruel and still ‘doing business’ when there is death all around us? And if doctors turn round and increase the cost of care, the same Nigerians will be shouting that it’s inhuman. Then, it’s no longer business as usual!
Actually, I don’t have any advice for us and I am just so saddened by all I see around me in Nigeria. It’s enough to drive my blood pressure up.
It seems easy to blame the government for corrupt practices but we the citizens, are no better.
And the people get the government they deserve.