The London Patient
We at Tomato News asked President Buhari about his decision to jet off to London for medical care while doctors in Nigeria are on strike due to owed salaries.
The President, in his usual calm composure, exuded nothing but brilliance and compassion in his response. “If Nigerians want to enjoy quality medical services, then they should work hard and become president like I did. Look at me? Do you think I would be enjoying the care I’m getting in London if I weren’t the president? The problem with Nigerians is that they want to enjoy things they didn’t work for.”
As usual, the President demonstrated a deep understanding of the frustrations faced by everyday Nigerians when trying to navigate our understaffed and underfunded healthcare system. We asked him if he had suggestions on how to solve the current crisis, and explaining his proposal, the President said, “Well it’s easy. I usually see tweets and WhatsApp statuses of crowdfunding efforts for patients to raise money for medical interventions. If patients can get money through crowdfunding, why can’t we crowdfund for doctors too?”
The President also doubted how badly Nigerian doctors want to be paid, seeing as they haven’t yet resorted to kidnapping school students and demanding billions of Naira in ransom. “Obviously,” the President said, “if you want to get paid quickly in Nigeria, that is the way to go. The fact that Nigerian doctors haven’t organized themselves and kidnapped hundreds of students is all the proof you need that they’re not really suffering.”
Brilliant! President Buhari proved with his reply once again why Nigerians brought him out of retirement in 2015 to make him the head of state again even after his stint as a military dictator — sorry — head of state. We simply can’t get enough of this man’s bright ideas.
The president went ahead to state in detail his plans to open a go-fund-me for Nigerian doctors. “You see, there is simply no other way to raise the required capital to pay their salaries. Do you know how many doctors there are in Nigeria? Way too many.”
When in our ignorance, we pointed out that the doctor-patient ratio in Nigeria is about 1:1000 whereas the WHO recommends a doctor-patient ratio of 1:100, President Buhari opined that a doctor-patient ratio of 1:100 is for countries where the politicians and elite actually seek medical care in their own country. In a case like Nigeria where politicians simply jet out to other countries for medical attention, a 1:100 doctor -patient ratio is unnecessary. The President said that politicians in countries who use the medical facilities of their nations are selfish, and encouraged them to be more like Nigerian politicians who refuse to burden their country’s medical system and instead seek out medical care abroad out of a sense of selflessness and unparalleled patriotism.
We asked the President if he thinks this problem of owed wages is a major reason Nigerian doctors leave Nigeria to work in other countries and the President said that only unpatriotic doctors emigrate to other places. A truly patriotic doctor shouldn’t need money to treat patients. His pure desire to fight diseases should be enough motivation for him to work from dawn to dusk every day.
The President further expressed frustration at the general trend of Nigerians emigrating to work in other countries simply because the unemployment rate is about 45%. Venting, he wondered aloud, “Why would anyone want to work abroad when you can simply be jobless in Nigeria? Why do you want to work so badly, are you a slave?”
The President advised Nigerians not to panic and assured us that Nigerian doctors will soon call off their strike. “Don’t worry, when they get bored and tired, they’ll resume work once again. But for now, I’d really like it if everyone respected my medical vacation here in UK and stopped disturbing me until I get back.”
“Wahala no dey finish,” the President said, and on that note, he ended the interview.