LEVERAGING ON RELATIONSHIP – My Experience In Ebute Metta Health Centre

I spent the entire Sunday night appeasing Francisca, my four-year-old daughter, who was battling with Whitlow (come to think of it, I grew up calling it ‘Wiklo’ like any average Nigerian). Her finger was sore with
painful swelling and pus. That I was able to make it to Monday morning without breaking down emotionally was a miracle.
Rather than rush all the way to Mt Sinai Hospital, the infirmary I pitched my health insurance with, I headed for the Ebute Metta Public Health Centre being closer to my residence in Yaba.
Guess what I discovered?
The admission card is pro bono, consultation and diagnoses are absolutely free!
“Why then do people still patronise ‘Opa Eyin’ and ‘Agbo Iba’ vendors?” I pondered.
Anyway, I am not here to hold brief for ‘Itesiwaju Eko.’ Back to the issue at hand.
After due consultation with one of the young brilliant doctors on duty, I took the prescription to the pharmacy to procure the drugs.
As I tried explaining my mission to the pharmacist, a familiar face surfaced and whispered something into the ear of the lady pharmacist.
On his way out, he smiled and waved at me saying ‘How is work, Sir?’ It was more of rhetoric as he didn’t even wait for my reply.
‘Who is this man?’ I kept asking myself.
Fifteen minutes later, the lady pharmacist was back with my drugs – Ceftriaxone (injection with syringe for a 3 day-treatment), Amoxicillin, Vit C suspension and Paracetamol suspension.
As she handed me the receipt, I winced at the total cost. N8,650 in this economic recession? Isn’t the idea of using another hospital outside my health insurance a big mistake?
Long story short, when I dipped my hand in my pocket fishing for my ATM card, the lady gave me a quizzical look.
“If what you are looking for is money, don’t bother. The chief pharmacist has settled your bill!” she said.’
I stared hard at her. No way, I am not going to allow anybody do a ‘Ruben Abati’ for me. There is no way I will receive a Greek Gift from strangers, more so in a government parastatal.
“Sorry o, who is the chief pharmacist you mentioned?” I quipped.
“You mean you don’t the man who greeted you earlier?” she looked surprised.
It was then my mind went to work. I demanded to see him, at least, to thank him.
Five minutes later, we shook hands and hugged each other.
He was among the 30 chief pharmacists of public health centres, general hospitals and federal medical centres honoured at Micro Nova Annual 2015 Awards Nite held at Protea Hotel in Ikeja sometime in February this year. As expected, I was invited along with other journalists to cover the event.
At the end of the programme, the chief pharmacist made an usual request. He wants me to send him every picture of him from sitting posture to collection of award. ‘I am not a commercial photographer, Sir!’ I tried to evade him.
But he came after me begging persistently, ‘I know you are not. I was just hoping you could help by sending them to my email. I will be grateful if you can,’ he said extending a business card to me. I took another look at him and collected it.
The next day, I forwarded them to him and he acknowledged by saying he is grateful. Fast-forward 8 months after, here I am leveraging on such relationship. The same man I probably thought I wouldn’t see again settling a debt of N8,650 on my behalf.
It couldn’t get any better than this. Perhaps my coming to the health centre wasn’t a mistake after all. It appears to be providence-driven.
As I picked my kid to leave the premises, I turned to take another look at the clinic.
Apparently, I have just added a new ally to my friendship list.
See Result of Nigerian Doctors' Strike (COMEDY CLIP)


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