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Only 40% of Nigerians patronise public hospitals, says physician

A family Physician at the Nisa Premier Hospital,  Dr Joshua Ofoli has said that only 40 percent of Nigerians patronise public hospitals at the federal, state or local government levels.

Dr Ofoli while presenting a paper titled, “Rationalising Public Hospital Governance and the Quality of Care” at the ICOHMA conference  in Abuja said,  73 percent of health facilities in Nigeria are public but are accessed by only 40 percent of Nigerians.

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“Despite serving as a critical provider of health services to the population, public hospitals are faced with several challenges that affect their ability to deliver quality healthcare to the population.”

He said if properly put in shape, public hospital governance can serve as a tool to address structural changes and identify capable leaders to reinvent the hospital and improve the speed and quality of decision making.

Dr Ofoli also said that though it is funded by the government it is marred by many challenges such that, the management processes are dominated by hierarchy, poor communication and interaction, bureaucracy which affects the speed and quality of decision making. He said others include  persistent industrial unrest , poor quality of care and  that they were also poorly linked to patients’ needs and experiences.

He said : “In practice there can be mismatches between the owners’ performance objectives and the incentives of hospital managers who have multiple and different types of accountabilities that complicate relations between owners and managers.

“Measures that lessen central authority and increase the management autonomy of individual hospitals, accompanied by marketization forces, have been a pronounced trend in hospital governance reforms worldwide.”

 

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