A laboratory scientist, Elochukwu Adibo, has called on government to extend healthcare service delivery to more Nigerians by subsidizing and supporting private practitioners.
The private practitioners provided healthcare services to about 70 per cent of the country’s population.
Adibo, who is Director, El-Lab Medical Diagnostic and Research Centre, Lagos said that private healthcare providers took some pressure off the government facilities through services rendered to patients.
According to him, private practitioners could reach more people if given adequate support.
He said that more people could have access to healthcare if it was more affordable for them.
“The private practice is neglected 100 per cent whereas private people give access to 70 per cent of healthcare in Nigeria.
No government support. Even in free malaria testing, they don’t even give the private people free malaria test kits.
They give the malaria kits to only government hospitals and when you get to government hospitals before 7 a.m., there are over 200 people waiting to see one doctor.
How can that work? The facilities are overworked,” he said.
Adibo said such situation discouraged a lot of patients from going to the hospital.
On the high cost of services at private hospitals, Adibo said that delivering quality services required a lot of expenditure, which when factored in, increased the cost to the patients.
He further explained that public facilities were cheaper because of government’s subsidy on its services.
The laboratory scientist urged government to integrate the private practitioners into its healthcare plans to enable more people access healthcare services.
Adibo said that government could achieve this my reaching genuine healthcare providers through their professional bodies.