• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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What will you prefer, heavy financial returns or heavy quality healthcare service? (1)

Nigeria’s race to tech-powered medicine

I came across the story of a man who had a concern with a tooth in the United States of America. He went to a dentist and the prescription given to him was long, and it included a procedure to do some fillings and do other things with his mouth. The bill he was given was staggering. He decided to see another dentist with the same complaint.

It is not that he doubted the other dentist’s judgement because that dentist was a professionally certified dentist. He was just uncomfortable with the high bill. By the time that he was through with the second dentist, he couldn’t believe what he was told. He was told that the concern with his tooth did not need the procedure that the other dentist had prescribed, nor most of the items contained in the prescription.

It is a big surprise that what the man actually needed was not a tooth filling prescribed but a medication which soon took care of the problem. What he spent at the end of the day was a far cry from the bill that the other dentist gave him.

The moral of the story is that the two dentists are equally certified and were operating in the United States of America. One was only after money and was ready to give a spurious prescription to get money. Imagine the effects of a wrong treatment on the unfortunate patient! So many people have been made to pay grievously for the crave after money that has even penetrated the ranks of professionals who are thought to have sworn to a sacred practice oath.

I believe there is a way out for those who are hungry after money and found themselves in a profession that demands extreme care like healthcare delivery. They should stay in aspects of the profession that don’t demand much contact with the patient. If the person is in medical research for example, and he gave defective conclusions in a research submission because of too much consideration for money, the effect of that misbehaviour will not be as much as a wrong prescription to a patient deliberately given because of money, which may claim the life of the patient.

I am not saying that even the spurious research submission given by the professional in medical research will not negatively impact people’s lives particularly in the long run, I am saying that the effect will not be as damaging on people’s lives in a direct manner. Whether in healthcare practice where there is direct contact with the patient (customer) or where there is little direct contact with patients like healthcare administration, the need for careful attention for good healthcare quality service cannot be overemphasised.

If the situation is this bad in the United States, looking at the example given in this post, where professionalism is given serious attention and deviant behaviour among professionals is always met with heavy sanctions, what would one say about Nigeria where there is free reign of greed in every sphere of national life, with our professionals not spared at all.

When it comes to professional service or attention, healthcare inclusive, most people don’t know that you can only fool the customer once, that is even if you are able to fool him at all. We all know the research result that says if you please a customer, he will tell only five people, but if you displease him, he will tell nothing less than twelve people about the negative experience he had with you.

Spurious service may give you some initial financial returns, however it does not last. Quality has a voice. It may not sound too loud like the big hollow noise of an empty barrel which is of no value to anybody, which is the voice of fakes or spurious service. The voice of quality always comes out tops at the end of the day, because as quality is consistently pursued it will ultimately culminate in unbelievable financial returns.

Owolabi: (FIMC) Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants (with certifications in Healthcare Organisations Operations and Qualify Improvement in Healthcare Organisations). He is also the Principal Consultant of Healing Balm Health Consult, a Healthcare Consultancy services organisation involved in the training of healthcare practitioners, particularly on issues concerning putting in place quality improvement culture. WhatsApp to ‪09031911326‬.