• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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What will you prefer, heavy financial returns or heavy quality healthcare service? (2)


Every business is set up to make money. Nobody in his right sense starts a business without any expectation of profit. This includes businesses set up in the healthcare sector too. Maximising profit that is going for the highest level of profit possible is also the objective of every business person. What is the route to this profit maximisation that everyone is gunning for? Does it happen when the pursuit of it is overriding and every other thing is subordinated to it?

I was opportune to handle a project for the US largest maker of minimally invasive cardiology devices a few years back. When you talk about minimally invasive cardiology devices, one is referring to the “state of the art” modern devices that are used in heart surgeries without having to open up the patient. They are high precision devices that are not common to come across. We were to identify prospective users of the devices within the Nigerian healthcare space. Our survey took us to the most revered medical institutions in the country, particularly within the Lagos environment. The devices are used in procedures involving huge sums of money. These are what people travel abroad for. We made startling discoveries in the course of the survey, which spoke so much about the preparedness of our medical system in Nigeria to advance beyond the state it is now. We discovered that no government medical institution in Nigeria had the facilities to undertake those procedures. None of them could tool up to the standard of what those procedure demand. The procedures demand premium quality operating environment that is beyond the capability of most public medical institutions. Coming over to their private counterparts, only a handful commanded the environment that could handle the high quality demands of the procedures.

Read also: What will you prefer, heavy financial returns or heavy quality healthcare service? (1)

The lack of any appreciable number of medical establishments in Nigeria in that area is not because people are deficient in the area of funds to put the right facilities in place. It is because of people’s lack of preparedness to put a good quality structure in place. People want to have an establishment good enough to make them start to make money immediately and forget about any demanding quality standard.

Procedures in cardiology cost a lot of money and I am sure some Nigerians will still like to have them back here in Nigeria if there are medical establishments with the wherewithal to handle them. It takes great attention to quality at the highest point to maintain an establishment to handle sophisticated procedures in cardiology.

At the end of the day, Nigerian healthcare system is losing so much to medical tourism as Nigerians rich enough to fly out to have those procedures carried out will never risk their lives on what the local establishments have to offer.

Why would someone not go to Canada to have the procedure, let’s say have a pacemaker inserted into his heart than stay in Nigeria where money comes first in everything? Is it actually possible to have real quality healthcare service in Nigeria or should we just forget about it and advise anyone that actually wants quality healthcare service to take the next plane out of the country?

I think it is possible to have quality healthcare in Nigeria despite the fact that most social institutions and public service systems have broken down. We will look at the way out in the next edition of this post, against the background of my practical experience working on consulting briefs in the health sector.

Owolabi, Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants (with certifications in Healthcare Organisations Operations and Qualify Improvement in Healthcare Organisations). WhatsApp to ‪09031911326‬‪08023203198‬