Any civilization that values a high standard of living and good health must provide for this need. Again, having easy access to high-quality medical care leads to better health outcomes, a longer life expectancy, and lower expenditures. Patients with access problems might put off getting treatment, which would increase morbidity and mortality.
The majority of Nigerian communities lack access to high-quality medical care, and even where it is offered, it might be difficult to get there. Nigerians live in rural areas to a greater than 50% extent. Health institutions are a fantasy in these places, and when they do exist, the problem is typically the lack of access to qualified medical staff or high-quality orthodox medications. Traditional values and taboos might occasionally be another barrier.
In contrast to rural and semi-urban areas in Nigeria, the availability of high-quality healthcare facilities and professionals, as well as the public’s misperception of health-seeking behavior, may not be a problem in metropolitan neighborhoods. Most of the time, poverty is the actual monster to blame for the fact that many sick people pass away in their homes without having access to medical care for their conditions.
The scenario involves all surgical procedures, which may be far worse. Because of this, the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery proposed the idea of “Global surgery” in 2015. The idea held that surgery was a neglected branch of conventional medicine or healthcare and needed extra attention because it affected so many people.
How can Nigeria be an exception when Jesuyajolu and his study colleagues estimated that five billion people worldwide lack access to high-quality, life-saving surgical interventions? There’s no denying that at this point in time, everyone in the world wants access to surgical and anesthesia treatment that is both safe and inexpensive.
A number of things hinder the ability to provide high-quality surgical care. Examining access to high-quality surgical treatment should not overlook factors like physical proximity to a surgical facility, the availability of skilled staff, the scope of the surgical infrastructure, and numerous other crucial needs. Important factors to take into account include perioperative mortality, surgical volume, access to timely, necessary surgery, specialist surgical workforce density, and protection from both impoverishing and catastrophic spending.
Regardless of where a person lives in the country, poverty and the cost of surgical care pose significant obstacles in Nigeria. According to estimates, 83 million Nigerians, or 40% of the country’s population, live in poverty. In addition, a lot of Nigerians are said to be socially vulnerable, meaning they might easily drop below the poverty line at any time owing to problems like unemployment, inflation, and recession, to name a few. Due to the numerous restrictions, surgical interventions and treatments cannot be provided for free. Someone needs to take responsibility if the patient who needs surgery is unable to pay.
Medical professionals, such as surgeons and anesthesiologists, among many others, lack motivation. The scenario of low compensation and unfavorable working circumstances continues to affect the doctor-to-patient ratio. How is Nigeria saveable?
The distribution of surgeons throughout the nation, which is biased in favor of the cities, presents an additional issue. Furthermore, compared to the needs of the Nigerian population, the number of surgeons produced during postgraduate study is pitifully inadequate. The majority, if not all, medical practitioners who are currently completing their undergraduate training have a strong desire to pursue their postgraduate education outside of Nigeria and are indeed departing in large numbers. The nation lacks practicing doctors as well as surgeons in training.
The best course of action is for our administration to build political goodwill through which they can create a plan for high-quality medical and surgical services across the nation. Political goodwill will encourage the government to budget for the health sector in a fairer and more reasonable manner.
The government must also genuinely and honestly give the people more power. A healthy business atmosphere must be established. The availability of electricity seems to be a crucial factor in the unemployment and inability to make ends meet of many people. Government focus is also needed in other areas, such as population management and access to western education, to address Nigeria’s healthcare-related issues.
If improved, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) will aid in tackling the problem of the cost of surgical care. Nigeria can take a leaf out of the successful western nations’ health insurance programs.
•Adegboro teaches microbiology and immunology at the Nile University of Nigeria in Abuja’s Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology.