The Nigerian healthcare System is in a state of disarray. Too many parallel programs, running at the same time with similar objectives, but totally compartmentalized, maybe it’s a way of siphoning the grants/Aids.
There ought to be three tiers of healthcare delivery according to the healthcare system pattern of this country, Nigeria. The Primary, Secondary and tertiary each taken care of by the local government, state government and the Federal government respectively. However for those who have taken a closer look at the healthcare delivery of this nation its obvious the secondary level of healthcare delivery as been annihilated almost squashed to death. Various reasons can be alluded to the reason why it’s so however that’s for some other time. The Primary level of care where most of the patients should be see with most of the patients’ health needs met is a cripple!! You see structures everywhere without the appropriate human resources, building don’t treat patients, but buildings bring in kick-backs!! Nigeria is a nation drowning in corruption, with its leaders totally oblivious to the human calamity occurring daily because of their corrupt practices. It will be myopic to think it’s only the leaders that are contributing to the woes of the healthcare sector in this country, the workers who are employed to provide services but only show up at work once a week, how will the users of the facility get any service?
The state governments are mostly interested in the Tertiary level of care now, I wonder why? They have neglected their primary duties of sustaining the secondary level of care, empty hospitals without equipments of manpower. What is the use of building a 70 bed hospital without a functional micro centrifuge? Sigh, I know a teaching Hospital in this country where for days they could not determine the blood level of patients, their X-ray machine keeps dying and resurrecting or the Ultrasound scan probe is not functioning!! A tertiary Hospital!!!! Its simply crazy the kind of things that occur in this country that we all look and walk away from. Its inhumane for the resources allocated for the proper running of an hospital to be siphoned, embezzled, stolen by the few miscreants in power and ably supported by the workers in same hospital with their silence. I thought there was hope for this country, I believed the country could be salvaged, I thought our leaders in Abuja where our problem but we are our own biggest headache. We simply do not count the cost of embezzling monies meant for equipments, or day to day running of a health facility, its appalling. Imagine, a 35 year old man, with 2 children and a pregnant wife was involved in an auto accident, due to bad roads, he was brought to the emergency unit of an hospital, and he needed blood alas the blood bank’s refrigerator supplied by the contractor packed up 3 months ago so there is no blood stored. His relatives had to source for blood from a laboratory outside before their arrival patient was dead!! If the contractor who constructed the road had done a good job, perhaps the accident would have been averted and if the contractor who supplied the fridge had been honest to supply a functional one not a dead one because of the kickbacks he had to pay to get the contract, they would have been blood in the bank, but who care? The wife and children will bear the brunt of some people’s callousness and those people will go to church or mosque to do thanks giving that God provided for them and their family?!!
It is simply amazing the country we live in!!! Health is wealth but in Nigeria, Health means nothing, NOT A THING!!! No wonder the nation is so ‘sick’!
So the shape of our healthcare system instead of a pyramid is an hour glass shape, with majority of the healthcare delivery at the tertiary level, almost zilch at the secondary level and few at the primary level! How does a nation sustain such a healthcare system, with corruption eaten away at its very core daily?
What is the solution to this problem bedeviling the healthcare sector? Not simple, all I know is we can’t keep building on a weak structure or build a parallel structure without doing away with the former structure. The primary healthcare delivery should be given priority; all grants coming into the country should be streamlined and adequately monitored, we need to generate viable that that we can work with not this cooked up thing!!! The most pressing need to make the Healthcare sector function effectively is HONEST people!!! Do your job, go to work, give the very best of your ability and be sincere. Lastly don’ sell your vote nor your conscience to the highest bidder and it’s not about where the person comes from, it’s about can this person deliver honest, effective leadership? Tribes, tongues, skin colour and religion may differ the health challenges are similar across board.