The debate over whether healthcare is a right or a privilege has raged on for decades and will likely continue on well into the future. And while there may never be a definitive answer to this question, the fact of the matter is that some areas of the world have better access to healthcare than others.
One such area struggling to gain access to quality healthcare is Nigeria which currently ranks 87th out of the 190 countries in the world for healthcare access, a fact that is astounding to me considering how many bright and driven minds we have in Nigeria. So how exactly can Nigeria’s healthcare system be improved? First we need to identify a few key issue areas to target.
- Increase The Investment In healthcare
- Make Health Insurance More Accessible to Nigerians
- Be Mindful Of The Race To The Bottom Among healthcare Providers
Increase The Investment In Healthcare
Right now, Nigeria has very little federal funding for healthcare in the country. And while this doesn’t necessarily look like a net positive, it can leave the door open for private healthcare providers to fill this void. Many healthcare providers all over the world see this as a market where the general population is in dire need of their services. This process of bringing in major healthcare providers would only be bolstered if they were also to receive some support from the Nigerian federal government.
Make Health Insurance More Accessible to Nigerians
Currently, less than four percent of Nigerians have at least some form of healthcare coverage. This means that nearly 179 million Nigerians have absolutely no healthcare coverage at all. Without coverage, Nigerians are left to foot the sometimes insurmountable bills that can result of even the simplest operations. The Nigerian government must take steps to make healthcare more accessible to all Nigerians to avoid massive consumer debt which will undoubtedly pay a toll on the economy in the long run.
Be Mindful Of The Race To The Bottom Among Healthcare Providers
One of the most concerning aspects of the existing healthcare in Nigeria is the idea of the “race to the bottom”. This is the idea that hospitals and doctors’ offices keep trying to undercut one another with lower and lower prices until one is eventually priced out. While this may sound good for consumers, it often comes at the expense of quality care. The Nigerian people should instead be seeking top notch care to help address widespread disease that has run rampant throughout the nation.