Monday, 25 November 2013

We are dying, Who Cares?!

It is so sad that our healthcare delivery system is almost utterly neglected by the government as not much happens even in the basic area of primary health care. The state of public healthcare infrastructure, along with other structural challenges, such as the difficulty in attracting and retaining skills, has also led to a decline in rendering health services. The Local government councils which is supposed to be responsible for this assignment, pockets the LITTLE that their state governments releases.

The government and the Elites are not conversant with the irritating state of the healthcare system of this country because they and their families are patients of foreign hospitals. Political leaders at the state and even the federal level only pay lip service to the state of our healthcare delivery system. We have heard of governors and senators flown abroad for "MEDICAL CHECK-UP". As little as a medical check up, this tells that we either have unqualified doctors or inadequate infrastructure or even both. No leader thinks of hospitals because there is a conventional preference – 'oversea' treatment.

Our Hospitals are in a deplorable condition and in dire need of immediate government's attention. The buildings of some government hospitals are dilapidated with leaking roofs. -- How can doctors give there best in such conditions?

Although political opponents are more concerned about the politics of the medical travels of Nigerian leaders, such as the length of stay, money spent etc, the real concern should be why Nigerian doctors and hospitals are not good enough for those in power.
A recent ranking of leading hospitals in Africa and the lot of Nigerian hospitals on the log will shock those that are still in doubt of crisis in the country's health system. According to the web-based (Webometric) ranking of hospitals for 2013, only 17 Nigerian hospitals were listed among top 222 in Africa. And of these 17, only two are government-owned hospitals – the Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta in Ogun State and the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Gombe. 

None of the state-controlled hospitals and federal-owned teaching hospitals, plus National Hospital, Abuja made the list. Service Compact with all Nigerians (SERVICOM), a Federal Government service delivery initiative also evaluated all Federal Hospitals in the country recently and concluded, "no hospital was delivering praiseworthy services." Our teaching hospitals function as mere consulting clinics. Our public hospitals and most especially the tertiary hospitals focuses on its individual goals rather than the corporate goal and interests of the health care system. The nation's health care requires the leadership that will improve processes, and be courageous enough to discard dysfunctional, outdated and ineffective medical cultures and practices, while adapting and re-orienting our health care to local challenges and global ideals, for the benefit of the Nigerian people. 
This is why we constantly see on TV, people asking for financial help to enable them go for surgeries abroad. Yet, every year we throw new medical doctors to the society from our tertiary schools.
To treat this injured system, a modular system in the health sector should be employed supported by various standard hospitals and world class laboratories that are fully equipped with standard facilities. A new kind of orientation and leadership, at every level of the health care system, that will organise the system into teams, measure performance and outcomes not by the volume of work, patients seen, staff strength, number of professionals trained or the number of bed spaces (most of which may be unoccupied for most of the year), but by the actual results and benefit derived from the processes. For this reason, there is a growing discussion about a possible role for public–private partnerships (PPPs), which some believe could offer part of the answer to the challenges. Public Private partnership should be highly encouraged to ensure the maintenance for the hospitals.

A modular system shows that we can have a fully equipped world class orthopaedic hospital that treats EVERY bone issue and researches for solution in a state supported by standard hospitals in every Local Government Area in the country.
Why go modular? It is quick to deploy, economical and scalable.
We need to make healthcare more accessible to more people and need to come together and figure out how to do it.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. We need our government both at the state,local nd federal levels to make healthcare accessible,affordable for Nigerian citizens and when I talk about healthcare,I mean quality healthcare services.Nice write-up