Nigeria has one of the most complicated healthcare systems in the continent. Public health in Nigeria is run by three tiers of the government. The Federal government is responsible for coordinating affairs in Federal Medical Centers and University Teaching Hospitals. The state government is responsible for running general hospitals while the local government is responsible for dispensaries. Private sector also plays a big role in the provision of medical services in Nigeria. This is just an overview of the management of Nigeria healthcare.
Through various acts of parliament, the Nigerian healthcare system has been developed to accommodate the wide growing concerns in public healthcare. The National Health Insurance Scheme is Nigeria’s only reliable health insurance for majority of citizens. The healthcare system in the country relies majorly on the success of this insurance scheme.
The Good Side of Nigeria’s Healthcare System
It can be said that Nigeria’s healthcare system has succeeded in different fronts. Some of the benefits that citizens get from the National Health Insurance Scheme include;
- Outpatient Care
- Maternity Care: This insurance scheme covers up to 4 live maternal births
- Preventative Care which includes immunization, family planning and health education
- Specialists Consultation
- Inpatient care: A citizen can access inpatient care in a standard ward for up to 15 days per year.
- Preventative Dental Care
These are some of the services that citizens under this scheme will get from the government.
Another good thing with the Nigerian Healthcare System is that it has freely covered children under the age of 5 and the disabled. This is a milestone that the system has achieved.
It is also worth mentioning that the insurance scheme is quite affordable and thus citizens can be easily covered. The fact that it is cheap only works to mean that even the poor can access public healthcare.
The healthcare system also got a major boost after a new bone marrow donor program was opened in Nigeria. This new development will go a long way in tackling some of the most disturbing diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell.
The Bad Side of Nigeria’s Healthcare System
The healthcare system in Nigeria is still facing quite a number of challenges that are dragging it behind. Some of the drawbacks to this healthcare system will be highlighted here below.
- The structure of the healthcare system is poorly developed. This has caused it to suffer major setbacks, more especially at the local government levels.
- There is also no adequate surveillance of the system to check its effectiveness.
- Low Morale by government doctors. The system is suffering a major challenge as a result of low morale by government doctors. The doctors are majorly protesting over meager pay. The low morale is leading to low quality of medical service offered.
- While the system has done a lot to include many citizens in the insurance scheme, there are still many citizens who are not insured. This is considered to be a major setback for the healthcare system in Nigeria.
The government should seek ways of ensuring that every citizen is covered in the insurance plan. That will be the perfect start to making the Nigeria’s healthcare system a leading one in the continent.