By Etim Etim
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo checked into the Duchess Hospital, Ikeja yesterday for a surgical procedure on his thigh bone to repair a fracture, and pronto, his Communication Team promptly informed the nation in a terse press statement.
The press release further indicated that the hospital would make a full statement once the VP was out of the theater. Within a few hours, the statement came from the hospital, indicating the nature of the surgery and assuring a bewildered nation that the VP was okay.
Many Nigerians across the nation were pleased with the transparency, honesty and professionalism with which the VP’s Team communicated with the citizens about the VP’s hospitalization. That’s how modern governments work.
It is a departure from the usual practice in which our leaders would sneak abroad into a foreign hospital without informing the people. Even when the people are informed of such visits, the nature of the illness is hidden. Till today, we don’t know what illness kept President Buhari abroad in 2017 for over 7 months. It is just as well that the President is now as fit as a fiddle, and will finish his term in good health.
Equally commendable is that Prof Osinbajo chose a Nigerian hospital for his care. It marks a resounding confidence in our health care system and proves the point that our medical specialists are up to their task. Thank you, Prof Osinbajo, for rejecting medical tourism. For a knee surgery last year, BolaTinubu spent months in a London hospital.
The VP commissioned the Duchess Hospital last year, and I was impressed with the facilities it has. I quickly made a mental note to visit the place whenever I’m in Lagos.
I went there early this year, and as soon as the airport taxi that took me turned into the premises, the driver asked, ‘’Oga, is this a new hotel?’’ It is indeed a beautiful place. A doctor answered all my enquiries promptly. The facilities are among the best and the specialists there are top of the class.
Other hospitals in the country are also good. Five years ago, my former boss in the bank suffered a heart attack in Benin and he was quickly evacuated to a hospital where he had a successful heart surgery. Three years ago, a man I know had a successful brain surgery in a hospital in Lagos. He had suffered a black out on his return from his village in Anambra. Just this year, my friend had a successful kidney transplant in an Abuja hospital renowned for such treatments, and a close relative had a successful backbone surgery.
I believe that our healthcare system is not as bad as it is painted. If Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife had had the slightest confidence in our doctors, they wouldn’t be sitting in a British prison today.
I commend the VP for showing good example and trusting in our medical specialists. I thank Laolu Akande and his team in the VP’s Office for his professionalism in managing the communications component of this matter.