Jobseeker's Diary: Why we dread going to hospital

There was a time Doctor knew best. You walked into a hospital and knew right away that you were in good hands. 

There was a time Doctor knew best. You walked into a hospital and knew right away that you were in good hands. 

The men and women in those flowing white coats did a good job diagnosing whatever was messing with your health and effectively treated it. If they said “take two tablepoons of this syrup three times a day,” or “swallow these after meals,” you did exactly that and sure enough, once the dose was completed, the ailment was gone. 

Cases of quack doctors were rare and pharmacies didn’t sell counterfeit drugs. As with most things, those good old days are long gone. These days, medical degrees are bought in some places. And if you can’t afford that but worked in drug shop, you might as well set up your own clinic. Little wonder we dread going to hospital. 

Lucky for me, I haven’t had reason to and I must thank God for the good health. I do get the occasional headache and flu but that’s about it. I still have to buy painkillers, cough drops and the like, and so I too worry about expired and fake drugs. Ibuprofen happens to be my favorite. It’s not bitter and is easy to swallow. I do have my concerns though. While I almost always buy from the same pharmacy, I’ve noticed that the tablets are different every time. Sometimes, they’re coated, other times not. At times they’re a little smaller or darker than the last time. 

I like consistency and while I understand that the local pharmacy may have different suppliers and that medicine is always evolving, I can’t help thinking that these frequent changes aren’t necessarily effective. There have been times I’ve “overdosed” and taken four tablets instead of the two advised because the pain wasn’t letting up. 

A couple more people doing the same and said drug would clear off the shelves more quickly, meaning more orders for the supplier. Good for business I guess but not our well-being. 

A friend of mine had a bad experience at a dentist’s recently. She got that anesthetic shot in the gum but it didn’t numb the pain and she told the dentist as much but he went ahead to extract the tooth and was convinced her writhing and grunts were an act! 

In fact he even told her she was lucky it wasn’t the female doctor handling it because she didn’t tolerate such nonsense! Of course you’ve heard accounts of rude and mean midwives who make life miserable for women in the throes of labour. 

But more serious is the negligence, intentional or otherwise that often results in lifelong complications if not loss of life. Newborns have ended up with the wrong families, surgical scissors, needles, sponges and even towels have been left in patients’ abdomens after surgery! 

People have died waiting to a see a doctor while others were misdiagnosed and so treated for the wrong illness or not treated at all. 

You only stand a chance if you can afford private healthcare. All the good doctors have private clinics and this is where you’ll find the most effective medication. If they’re out of a crucial drug, they’ll write you a prescription most likely to be found at a buddy’s pharmacy. 

Let’s not forget the ever rising consultation fees. So you cough up all this money only for the doctor to refer you to another clinic with its own fees. Man eateth where he treateth I guess. I’m not saying all doctors and medical personnel are devious. 

Many have saved thousands of lives and continue to do so. It’s just that the few rotten apples have left such a bad stench on the profession.

To be continued…


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