On Wednesday, February 9, 2022, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, officially commissioned the newly constructed ‘Senator Oluremi Tinubu Primary Health Care Centre’ located in the Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Secretariat, along 41 road in FESTAC Town. 

My first visit to this beautiful and well-equipped healthcare facility was on Wednesday morning, 23rd March, 2022. I was pleased to find out that apart from the beautiful exterior of the building complex, the interior was also well furnished, with fine works of art used to decorate various parts of the walls.

On arriving at such a well-equipped facility, one would expect to be treated to a warm welcome. But on the contrary, my first contact with the receptionist during the visit turned out to be the greatest put-off. I arrived a few minutes after 8 a.m., so I wouldn’t attribute the poor behaviour of the receptionist to stress associated with an already spent day. I greeted the receptionist and politely asked to see a doctor. Though she was probably busy with some task, I expected that she would at least respond to my greeting, and then either ask me to sit down and wait or ask me to pick a card containing the serial number with which people waiting to see a doctor would be attended to. But I neither received a response to my greeting nor did I get any direction from her. I was totally ignored! I waited until she was through with whatever she seemed to be doing. But after waiting until she finished what she was doing, she neither looked my way at the reception desk nor did she give any response to my request to see a doctor. So, I asked again, and guess what? She responded in an angry manner, asking me to pick a number. I was totally taken aback.  My initial feeling of happiness at seeing the welcoming environment was immediately dampened.

 However, I wondered if some of the people who had been seated in the reception area had experienced a similar poor response to their enquiry. This is because immediately the receptionist responded bluntly to me, another lady who had been seated all the while, quickly rushed to pick up a number, suggesting that she had been seating there, but didn’t know what to do, or probably she hadn’t been given any attention when she arrived.

My waiting serial number was eventually called, and I got up to the reception desk to get on with the process of seeing a doctor. However, after getting upstairs where we were also expected to wait before going into the consulting room, another mild drama occurred – this time between somebody sitting close to me and another staff of the health centre. I didn’t know what exactly the issue was, but it seemed that a woman sitting close to me had been watching how one of the cleaning staff was handling a particular task, and she noticed something that the staff had neglected. But the staff responded rudely. This caused some anger on the part of the woman sitting close to me, and she complained aloud about the poor attitude of some of the staff of the health care centre – something which I had been wondering about all the while.

Therefore, I would like to use this medium to make some suggestions, especially regarding the quality of staff that are recruited to act as the face of organisations – the front desk personnel, receptionists, etc., especially for public establishments. I suggest that they should be given proper and adequate training to guide them in their interactions with members of the public.

Daniel Ighakpe,

FESTAC Town, Lagos

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