Primary Healthcare (PHC) is the cornerstone of Nigeria’s health system. In the last few decades, the breakdown of healthcare services at PHCs in the country has led to unnecessary congestion of patients at secondary and tertiary centres, resulting in drastic reduction in quality time-spent on each patient during consultation.
With a strong PHC system remaining central to improving the health of all and reducing health inequalities among different groups, the management of Lagoon Hospitals has re-echoed the need to prioritise primary healthcare services with a view to improving access and ensuring excellence in healthcare delivery.
Speaking to the inauguration of a state-of-the art PHC outpatient complex on its Apapa premises, Fola Laoye, chairman, Hygeia Group, revealed that strengthening the primary health system will ensure efficiency, bearing in mind the needs of Nigerians, especially women and children.
With the PHC complex set to cover a wide range of health and preventive services-health education, counselling, disease prevention and screening, Laoye noted that the services will be coordinated in a way that specialised services can be provided when needed.
According to Laoye, “We will continue our pioneering work in Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria. This is a model devised to highly improve access to high quality healthcare for the average Nigerian and largely meets the needs of the country’s present Healthcare needs. All our locations, Apapa, Ikeja and Victoria Island, will be delivering this service.
“Primary Healthcare services help us to work closely with our patients, reduce waiting times, enhance customer service and clinical quality. This complements the needs of those who require our super-speciality services as Lagoon is one of the only few centres offering advanced speciality care.”
Naseem Mohammed, chief operating officer, Lagoon Hospitals, disclosed that healthcare delivery in the country cannot improve without a functional primary healthcare system as this existence of PHC will afford Nigeria the opportunity to address its numerous health challenges.
With PHC remaining a conscious strategy to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG 4, 5 and 6) targeted at women and children, Mohammed noted that as the demand for quality healthcare continues to grow and to create access to Nigerians, the hospital will continue to look at innovative ways to best meet the needs of patients.
“The Primary Healthcare Department is a unique concept that is devoted to the first level of care for patients. With these new facilities patients will receive extremely efficient and cost-effective care. Services available in this department include adult and children’s general out-patient services, wound dressing, Immunisation clinics, laboratory services, pre-employment and other selective screening examinations,” Mohammed explained.
For his part, Jide Ojo, head, electronic medical record (EMR) unit, said that the hospital has implemented EEMR in the quest for excellence. The EMR at the hospital, Ojo stated, has remained successful and effective tool in improving the delivery of care to new levels.
“The system facilitates continuous improvement in healthcare delivery by capturing structured information and by enabling active decision support through the ability to access and interrogate medical data. The system is operational at all the hospitals’ departments including the new PHC complex,” Ojo added.
It is believed that Nigeria can only eradicate communicable and vaccine-preventable diseases if PHCs across the country are strengthened in a bid to improve overall health outcomes.
By: Alexander Chiejina