Few weeks ago, i took a sick relative to a surgical consultant without revealing my identity. I left the room to accord them the necessary privacy while i sat outside. When i was called in by the Surgeon, he quoted many gratuitous procedures which cost over N350,000 asides surgery which would cost N500,000. I asked a simply question “Sir, did you examine this patient?” suddenly, an acute stuttering started. He was proud to say “it was not important”. Then I looked at the investigation and drugs he wrote and was dismayed because the patient who had clear signs of renal impairment was given some nephrotoxic drugs costing N35,000. When i started using medical terms and revealed my identity as a doctor, he was embarrassed and tried justifying his decisions. It was already too late. I paid all the necessary bills and zoomed out of the place. Bottom line, some of the investigations and surgery was totally superfluous for the patient.
Issues with patient safety are yardsticks to measure quality of patient care in any setting. Indisputably, greed, poor medical ethical regulations and underwhelming litigation issues aid clinical dishonesty in Nigeria.
Clinical dishonesty is when a House Officer does not examine a patient and still document same because he has many patients to attend to in his unit.
Clinical dishonesty is when a Nurse on duty documents a blood pressure reading without checking them because the previous readings where all normal.
Clinical dishonesty is when a Pharmacist changes the prescription of a doctor and adds more drugs so that he can sell more drugs in his pharmacy without knowing the reason behind the Doctor’s decisions.
Clinical dishonesty is when a Laboratory Scientist does not count all the fields on a Malaria parasite specimen and gives a result of “MP +++”
Clinical dishonesty is when a Surgeon operates a pregnant woman and documents some indications because he would make more than triple the money for normal delivery.
Clinical dishonesty is when a Nurse says “there is no bed space” because she doesn’t want more work.
Clinical dishonesty is when a Doctor keeps investigating and treating for “Typhoid” to make more money.
Someday, someone will challenge your decision and make you loose your reputation and perhaps your business.
A good name is better than many riches…Proverbs 22:1