By: Kachi Martin Ebubedike
Humans succumb to infirmities throughout their lives. Even though they desire immortality, diseases ensure it forever remains elusive. This inordinate longing is evidenced by the huge resources wasteful nations spend discovering medicinal agents, gadgets and on building hospitals.
A nation of reasonable people simply enjoy life and accept their fate when God decides to punish their sins with sicknesses. If it is God’s will that a child should die of malaria, why should the government waste money on mosquito nets? If it is God’s will that a woman should die during childbirth, why squander resources on training doctors and midwives?
Financially prudent governments like that of Nigeria understand the frivolity of wasting huge resources on healthcare. This is why the president, in his infinite wisdom, decided to slash the healthcare budget amidst a pandemic so money can be spent on renovating the national assembly complex. The nation’s lawmakers surely need a heavenly edifice to heal the sick and save lives.
This decision should serve as a model for unwise nations that build laboratories hospitals and fund research to fight Covid-19. The manner in which they waste resources on discovering vaccines and treatment for this disease is at best a case of misplaced priorities. Worse still, it is a blasphemy for trying to treat a disease God approved to purge Nigeria of her sinful citizens.
Furthermore, other nations that offer healthcare professionals ridiculous remuneration packages should borrow a leaf from the Nigerian model. Why pay their salaries promptly when you can teach them the virtue of patience by withholding it? How will they become patriotic if they don’t work without pay? They will derive a huge sense of fulfilment for working for free which salaries cannot offer them. Money is indeed not everything. Medicine is a noble and altruistic profession which salaries can desecrate.
The Nigerian strategy of minimizing wastage by cutting salaries of healthcare workers has paid off immensely. The current diversification to other specialties of medicine like farming and tailoring. The consultants in tailoring have become renowned for sewing great burial suits for weak Nigerians who survive ordinary diseases like Covid-19. On the other hand, the new consultants in farming produce the party jollof rice for their funeral. Still, a third group is exported to developed nations to help stabilize their fledgling healthcare system in a great humanitarian effort.
The massive success of the Nigerian healthcare policy is proven by the huge foreign exchange it earns from medical tourism. Stories of the numerous ultramodern hospitals spread across the nation has made Nigeria the preferred destination for seeking world class healthcare. The world-famous facilities attract the political elite, business leaders and royals from around the world. It is not uncommon to find a foreign president on a Nigerian hospital bed, clinic or laboratory.
In addition to these, a major innovation of the education ministry is the procurement of ancient laboratory equipment and specimens for training of healthcare professionals. This stimulate the ingenuity of the trainees as they improvise and invent new ways of using the equipment. The carpentry and electrical skills they learn while maneuvering them distinguish them from their peers around the world. The carpentry skills eventually help those that will become orthopedic surgeons while the electrical skills help the vascular surgeons in connecting blood vessels. Modern learning facilities make lazy Nigerian youths lackadaisical in their studies, thus the archaic ones were bought to help unlock their creativity.
In the pharmaceutical industry, the liberal approach to the regulation of food and drug production has been acclaimed by the world governing bodies as the future of healthcare. This approach enables non-pharmacists to produce drugs and make massive profits, boost the bank accounts of health inspectors and make many Nigerians to be gone too soon. When a Mama Put pay her dues to the dutiful regulating officials, she will be allowed to garnish healthy egusi soup with houseflies and sneeze into her hands to make smooth eba. However, she must prepare the meals with such recipe in a hidden kitchen, else public eyes render it unhealthy.
The last strategy is to create a health insurance scheme and make sure only those whose lives are worth saving are signed up to it. The rest shall derive satisfaction from paying from their pockets. Footing their own bills, especially for debilitating illnesses, help them attain poverty status. This ensures that Nigeria maintains her enviable position as the poverty capital of the world. After, transfer the health insurance funds to private bank accounts of political leaders to safeguard it for their unborn grandchildren.
To develop efficient healthcare systems, other nations should follow the tried and tested Nigerian model: slash healthcare budget to avoid wastage, pay healthcare workers with motivational speeches, cease unnecessarily stringent regulation of food and drug production and store health insurance funds in private bank accounts for safety.
I am a fourth year medical student at the University of Benin who is on a mission to build efficient healthcare systems for Nigerian using technology, fueled by the disdain I feel at the horrible state of Nigerian health systems. In addition to this, I am an essayist, a poet and a blogger who uses his literary skills to promote African cultures. In my free time, I watch and play football and read self-help books.