SATELLITE HOSPITALS AND THE USER-FEE WAHALA
We witnessed an incident at a satellite hospital in Freetown recently that left us thinking about many things – the principal being a big question: HOW MANY SIERRA LEONEANS HAVE DIED BECAUSE THEY CANNOT AFFORD ILLEGAL USER FEES AT OUR HOSPITALS? That’s a genuine research question for a PhD thesis, right? For good reason we are holding back the name of the particular hospital for now. We hope they don’t push us.
We accompanied a sick friend to that place a couple of weeks back on a normal day, only to come face-to-face with the reality people seeking medical attention in this country face on a daily basis. A man came to the satellite clinic and complained of something we don’t know. Some of the staff there went into action demanding cash for all sorts of things – things as basic as gloves. The man complied at every table. The hassle was akin to trying to get a container out of the Queen Elizabeth II quay. Some of the staff looked visibly happy with the man because he asked NO QUESTIONS.
When the cycle was complete, the man then introduced himself to the authorities at the hospital and explained the corruption he had just been subjected to by those who took an oath to serve humanity at all times without any other consideration. An emergency meeting was called to discuss the disgrace.
We will soon find out whether anybody was punished. In the meantime we have some survival tips for other corrupt health workers around the country.
1. First of all we cannot understand why the man went on that elaborate sting operation. He could simply have asked patients. They will all say the same thing. Surely they all can’t lie. But to avoid that, health workers especially those in public health facilities, should be very careful with anybody who visits them and does not complain about user fees. Rich people never go there. Don’t you get that?
2. It is good to always come to work promptly and serve patients very well. They will remember you and give you some tips like they do in American hotels and restaurants. By the way, don’t forget to give discharged patients your business card. DEN GO MEMBA YOU BAMBAI. LOL.
3. Remember to keep in touch with them and pretend you care very much about their health. Meanwhile, pray for the really good ones to fall ill every three months.
4. Don’t forget to get to work with your mini pharmacy in your bag because people can hardly get what is prescribed in those hospitals in an emergency.
5. Just do an honest job and your reward will be in heaven.
HONOURABLE, BRING BACK THE $ 8,300
Wonders shall never end! We are reliably informed by various and diverse sources at the Sierra Leone Commercial bank that a cashier mistakenly gave an HONOURABLE the sum US$ 10,000 – instead of the $ 1,700 he had written on his withdrawal form – and he went away with it. We know there is a huge difference – in weigh, size, thickness, energy in counting, etc – between 10,000 and 1,700 of any banknotes; not least US dollars. So how did this HONOURABLE not notice this before leaving the bank premises. We bet if that amount had been less than he had signed for he would almost have chopped off the head of the poor cashier.
Now our sources say that when the cashier realized her mistake she called the $10,000 man and kindly and respectfully asked him to bring back the balance of $ 8,300. E KAM PA DRAW-DRAW OH FAMBUL DEM. We salute Commercial Bank for having CCTV cameras all around. Incontrovertible evidence – hahaha! We hope the MP returned the money with a mea culpa and profound apologies.
NEXT TIME MRS. BIO TURNS UP AT A MOSQUE BEARING GIFTS
Can anybody please tell us the latest about an imam who was thrown out of his own mosque for allegedly hosting Mrs. Maada Bio and receiving gifts for his congregation from her? Things have just gone quiet. Even the imam is not speaking out. GAGGING ORDER, PERHAPS! Kikiki! Wetin na police state!
Anyway we know Mrs. Bio to be a devout Muslim so it came as no surprise that in the spirit of Ramadan she turned up at a mosque just outside Freetown to pray and make a few people happy with some gifts – especially with the harsh economic reality in the land. She must be devastated by what happened subsequently. We understand the imam was kicked out of the mosque for providing an opportunity for Mrs. Bio to score a political goal by meeting his congregation.
Nothing surprises us anymore in this country, especially the strength and reach of the almighty LAYBELLEH COMMITTEE. This committee is extremely powerful. Its members come from corners of this country from all social classes. All politicians need that committee to win elections in Sierra Leone. They are completely loyal to the one with the deepest pocket.
While we wait for word about the imam in question, we believe the following issues should be at the back of the minds of all religious leaders when next they open their doors to opposition politicians or even those seeking power from within the ruling party:
1. If the politician is from the ruling Red Movement, he MUST never go for prayers at the central mosque in Mile 91. There are no ifs and buts about that.
2. Also, make sure your visit to any mosque or church is well publicized beforehand. Turning up by surprise might lead to unwelcoming consequences.
3. A religious leader must know the feelings of his congregation and indeed the owners of his facility before allowing a politician from an opposition party to bring gifts to your house of worship.
4. When an opposition politician brings gifts to your place of worship, receive them quietly and later send a text message thanking them for the gifts.
5. Our ousted imam should go home quietly and pray that in 2018 Mrs. Bio becomes the Glorious FIRST LADY of Sierra Leone. He will easily become her spiritual adviser.
WHEN IT RAINS, FREETOWN BECOMES EVEN MORE IMPOSSIBLE
Frankly, even with very poor services in Freetown, many people are refusing to understand why every time it rains, traffic is grounded for hours and hours. Normally, traffic is crazy in this city but how can anybody explain why a journey between Malama Thomas Street and Walpole Street – just a mile apart – should last two hours? We have experienced that.
The point is we are dealing with the same cars, on the same roads. Why the gridlock whenever it rains? That’s our question. Let’s not hide this: there are many things wrong with Freetown – the drainage system is so poor – very poor –that we sometimes see raw human excreta flowing freely on some streets, particularly those near the offices of the municipal council, pigs roam freely in parts of the city, there are also thousands of stray dogs looking for crumbs, the city football team cannot win a match in the so-called Premier League, and our mayor is missing in action.
We may have won some international accolades including that of being a good country to do business in – whatever that means. Nothing wrong with that anyway! But put it alongside the rainy season gridlock in Freetown and then tell your international partners that they should not expect good business between May and September every year, too much rain.
We serve notice again on Bababode that he should never try to seek a second mandate as mayor of Freetown.
Meanwhile, when will the traffic lights be meaningfully operational? We are completely fed up with amber going off and on all the time. If we can’t fix a proper traffic light, can we put the project aside and employ a few more police officers? It’s about jobs eh? Hahaha!
(C) Politico 19/07/16