• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Making a case for the health sector

Delta State Government says it subsidized healthcare for its citizens and residents and has so far paid over N7 billion for the treatment of the

The deteriorating state of Nigeria’s health sector deserves the searchlight of curiosity as the worrisome level of attention from medical personnel makes it difficult to suggest the source of this predicament.

The exodus of these medical workers in search of saner clime is seen as a principal force militating against the development in this department. Shifting blame between their employers and the administrators has become normal as the degenerating status remains.

The contributory factors may be generic because the problem is not nascent. From state health centres to federal medical institutions, the lapses are almost similar. The claim by some is that government institutions are not well maintained and monitored.

While others decline that resources are not sufficient to service the number of persons who visit these medical outlets. It is almost impossible to suggest a quick stop over at the clinics for check-ups or even appointments, this will be hampered by delays and disappointments.

You may have a less stressful day when you are ready to part way with some cash as tips or you have a recognised person working in that hospital. We don’t have to blame the staff for these, the system is almost congested.

These bottlenecks are not natural, they are created by some individuals who don’t work with innovations and ideas to ease the tensions, and rather they keep complaining about what is not sufficient and not how to make things work with the little resources.

Some leave their duty posts to run other personal stuff at the expense of their responsibilities. You would find an empty seat while you wait in futility for the fellow to attend to your urgent need. When the person shows up, you will be disgusted at what excuse he will give to justify that inundating situation.

So many attempts by some creative leaders to curb these unnecessary setbacks have met a brick wall. The ratio of doctors to patient index keeps reducing due to some exigencies that are alluded to by the continuous migration of some of our experts in this field of medicine.

The few numbers left behind are contemplating on whether to remain or leave-they consider the remuneration to be worrisome. A Doctor would attend to patients from dusk to dawn with almost a dire situation of not remembering when she ate the last meal of the day.

Completely exhausted, she would want to give a thorough service in almost an impossible situation, very precarious to imagine.

This is the worst time to fall sick! You would be lucky to receive attention at the emergency section. However, as an inpatient, you may have to compare your state of improvement to a newly admitted one, especially when there is not enough space to accommodate all patients.

It becomes intriguing with dilapidated infrastructures at some quarters with abandoned projects awaiting approvals and funding in the premises of the hospitals. So, to improvise, you would need experienced doctors who have garnered knowledge without mediocrity.

The strongest among these health workers survive the working condition as loads of patients come visiting the facilities. It is almost clear why some government officials evade these hospitals for foreign treatments. It is almost impossible to predict your appointments with your Doctor because the reasons are obvious with delay in so many departments of the facility.

If we must make progress in this business of health, the mental health of these Doctors are of paramount consideration. The state of well-being of the physician will likely dictate the pace of the services.

Continuous cross-examination of the stakeholders of health sectors will put so many strings in their right place. It is amusing to watch patients give up, not because they didn’t get to the hospital on time but because the right person is not on ground to attend to them.

The idea of building more private hospitals by some stakeholders of the government’s owned hospitals will deprive the institution of adequate attention, especially at the deprivation of the common-man hospitals.

These public facilities deserve the same attention as the profit-making-privately-owned hospitals. Medicine is so wide that specialisation may appear so prevaricating with few hands in specific specialty. The most common or prevalent field of expertise affects the number of patients with peculiar cases.

So, if your case is so severe without direct personnel to attend to it, the situation gets more complicated. Lack of funds stops the process abruptly that may lead to crowd funding which may not meet up the deadlines for immediate attention.

Medical tours may prolong the imminent crisis of our health sector as the rich get advantageous with most adequate health attention abroad.

Read also: Africa’s public health in post-pandemic era: Strategies to build back better

Do we have all things wrong with these hospitals? Not really. There are special spheres of investments, properly handled by some investors who want their investments yield progressively. The idea of public-private investment is very laudable with drastic transformation which may take some time to be noticed.

Putting money in the health sector by private institutions will be beneficial to the economy of the country. Some of these government policies may hamper progress if they are not legislated in good faith. The problems will persist with political interest in these investments.

A clarion call by the direct stakeholders of this sector will send the right signal to all policy makers. Appointment of Medical Directors and Health Ministers should be subjected to the scrutiny of the professional associations as well as other strong forces at the helms of medical professionals.

Although, the feelers from some general hospitals show a clear response to positive revamp that may be sustainable with the right attitude towards upscale hospitals. A parastatal of importance to all will stand the test of time.

Olusegun Fashakin, a seasoned educator, writes in via [email protected]