Cover Features

COVID-19: Doctors abandon General Hospitals in FCT

*Prescribe drugs through SMS

By Myke Uzendu, Abuja

Medical doctors in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have devised a means of attending to patients through phone calls and sending prescriptions by short message service (SMS) to stay safe from the ravaging Corona Virus pandemic.

In the hospitals visited, only security personnel that wore hand gloves were seen on ground and they directed patients to a list containing phone numbers of doctors supposed to be on duty at the various department.

According to the security personnel, patients were expected to call the number and state his symptoms to the doctor who will thereafter either give him an appointment, recommend a test for him or make prescriptions.

When The AUTHORITY visited Nyanya General Hospital on Friday, it was observed that no doctor was on seat and the hospital was scanty as only security personnel, a few nurses and pharmacists were on duty.

A security guard who would not want his name to be mentioned confirmed that since the Federal Government declared a lockdown on Abuja, Lagos and Ogun state, doctors have also locked themselves in their houses and come to the hospital only when there is a matter that requires urgent medical attention.

He said, “Doctors are not always around and you cannot see them unless they give you an appointment or call us to let you in”.

Pointing at the least containing their phone numbers he continued, “If you want to see any doctor then you call his number and explain the matter with him”.

Meanwhile, our correspondent ran into a visibly angry Hajiya Fatima Hassan who brought her fours years old baby who is stooling and running temperature to the hospital only to be to told to call the number for doctors assistance.

She said, “My baby has been stooling since yesterday and her temperature is high. I came to see a doctor only to be told that I have to call them on phone before I can see any doctor”.

She went further to narrate that after explaining the situation to the person that received the call, an sms was sent to her phone which contained detailed of prescribed drugs and she was further told to take it to the pharmacy for payments.

However, Hajiya Hassan said that she will never take the prescriptions to the pharmacy but prefers to buy it outside the hospital and take the money else where.

“They did not even recommend any test, they did not check her BP, they don’t know her temperature, all they want is that I should go and pay for the drugs. Who is even sure that the person that attended to me is a qualified doctor” she questioned.

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