Bush Doctor in the City. Vol 20
The Bush Doctor was so glad to have a day away from the Bush. He had been invited to yet another meeting by the Commissioner of Health; this time in a very plush hotel.He was surprised to find many Traditional healers and policemen among the invitees and even more surprised to see the Witch Doctor sitting on the high table next to the commissioner’s wife.He sat around his usual friends and they made light conversation, nibbling at snacks and eyeing up the crowd. The wine flowed freely.The commissioner was introduced and he rose to reveal to all that his abdomen had grown since the last conference.‘Welcome to this historic event. I know you must be all wondering why I have assembled busy people like you here without an agenda. Sorry about that. We are here to launch the City Laser speed camera programme! I hand you over to the City chief Statistician to explain why’ said the commissioner.The assembled Doctors all looked puzzled while the policemen nodded knowingly.The statistician gave a presentation on the findings of his specially commissioned team who had been looking into the death rate in the City in the last six months.‘In conclusion, the Death rate was 25 per 100,000 and the life expectancy stands at 44 years. 30% of the deaths in the last 6 months have all come from road traffic accidents directly as a result of over speeding on our roads. You all advise your patients to stop smoking. I think you might save even more lives if you advise them to stop speeding’ was how the statistician ended.‘None of my patients have cars’ said the Bush Doctor. ‘Well, tell them to stop running, climbing trees and having so many children’ joked Dr Arugbo; the oldest practicing physician in the City.The commissioner now returned to put everyone out of their misery.‘We shall be equipping our police officers with the tools to cut speed. Speed guns! Now for a demonstration I call on my wife, eh, I mean the CEO of Egunje Ventures to demonstrate the speed gun’A motor cycle began to rev at the fire exit before flying across the room. The commissioner’s wife held up the gun and registered its speed.‘At this stage, the Police officer can arrest this Okada and give him an instant fine’ she said. The Policemen rubbed their hands in glee at the prospect of all those fines.Dr Arugbo rose to ask a question.‘How many of these guns have you bought?‘Ten thousand’ replied the CEO.A murmur swept through the crowd gathered.‘But we do not have that many good roads on which to speed on. And by the way, have you tested these guns out?’ asked Dr Arugbo‘Oh yes. We have been running a pilot on the Malu road. I can tell you that there has been no accident there for 3 months’ replied the CEO.‘That is because no one actually drives on that road to avoid these blood sucking police men!’ someone shouted to general applause. The policemen looked hard in the direction of the speaker.‘No insults please. The Police are doing a very good job’ shouted the commissioner from his seat.‘Yes. Guarding you and taking bribes. Now you have made them worse by equipping them with Laser speed guns!’ someone else shouted The commissioner was soon back on the microphone.‘We are only trying to elevate the life expectancy. From next week, all roads in the City will have signs clearly stating the Maximum speed of travel. Egunje ventures will be handing that contract also’ he said.Dr Arugbo was up with another question. ‘I wonder how speeding is possible on congested roads. My question is this, when are we going to have a state run ambulance service? Surely that will improve life expectancy’.‘Ah, you are indeed the oldest and may I add wisest Doctor around. We were not going to mention it today but I..er..I mean we are working on it. My wife, no the CEO of Egunje Ventures has been in London studying the Ambulance service there with a team of experts’‘You and your cronies abi!? shouted someone to general laughter. A small debate arose around the Bush Doctor. The rumour doing the rounds was that the CEO had spent more time having breast implants and a tummy tuck than studying ambulance services in London. ‘Her waist line definitely looks smaller’ one said‘Could be a diet’ aid the Bush Doctor.‘There’s no diet that can make the breast grow you know. Not even in London’ said another.The commissioner allowed time for the murmuring to settle. ‘Please, let us be civil. There is no need to re-invent the wheel and that is way a fact- finding mission was approved. We need to learn from those who have experience in these things. The London ambulance service has been going since 1897 and in 1948, the NHS service act made it a law for every citizen who needed an ambulance in the whole of England to have access to one. I shall be implementing that in 8 weeks. Yet again Egunje Ventures have kindly agreed to import 600 ambulances and radio equipment to kick start the City Ambulance service. The future is looking bright for this city’ said the Commissioner.By now no one was listening as the wines were being served.Dr Arugbo raised his hand. He was the only one bordering to ask questions. ‘Why don’t we just tie stretchers or wheel barrows to the back of Okada?’ A few chants of ‘Okada Ambulance’ rent the air.The Bush Doctor met the Witch Doctor in the loo. ‘You didn’t mention this yesterday’ said the Bush Doctor.‘I didn’t even know I was coming. They sent a car for me this morning. I am the commissioner’s spiritual adviser. She fears all these government contracts she is handling will make people jealous so I am here for her spiritual protection’ said the Witch Doctor.‘It is the people that need the protection from their leaders’ said the now drunk and despondent Bush Doctor. No Alcohol for the Bush Doctor in the City. Have to travel on the motor- way to do a Locum.12-07-07. 7.30AM. Enter the destination on my Satellite Navigation and turn the ignition on. It’s raining but Black beauty (my car) has beautiful wipers. Problems on the M6. No movement. I am stationary in the rain till 9am. Rang the Agency who in turn informed the Practice I was running late. (Wasn’t really running anywhere). I hate lateness. Really unprofessional. I switch on the Radio and hear two lorries have been involved in an accident about three hours ago and there was chaos ahead. I was trapped. I had my Fountain of Praise CD playing. The agency rain back and told me not to bother.‘You can go home’ he said. Oh no I can’t!So, I am burning fuel, wasting time, not getting paid and shedding tears of frustration. Why should an accident wreck my day?It was now 9.30am. I truly was going mad trapped in a stationary car. Getting depressed. Recounting all my woes. Then it happened. A white guy could take it no longer and he jumped out of his car to pee on the road side. I started laughing to myself. Now that was a Lagos scenario.I was hungry. Looked around for the lads selling pure water and Gala. Found none. No street hawkers on England’s motor- ways!Finally I could turn around and head back home. I drove for miles looking at people on the other side in the long queues where I had been; looking frustrated.I wasn’t the only one, so what was all that feeling sorry for myself? (Feeling you are the only one suffering really magnifies problems). The world has millions going through the same thing. That’s life. This morning was worse for others. The lorry driver who died. His family. His friends.I need to stop my whinging. Really.