Experts Blame Lack of Transparency, Others for Challenges in Health Sector


Nume Ekeghe

Experts in the healthcare sector, risks management, insurance and regulatory authorities have blamed lack of transparency, accountability and poor corporate governance as the bane of Nigeria’s health sector.

This was further explained in a governance research conducted by Conrad Clark Nigeria Limited for the health sector, which showed that only 4.86 per cent of hospitals in Lagos have governance structure and 3.54 percent have risk management structure.

At the third edition of the Clinical Risk & Governance summit 2017, hosted by Conrad Clark Nigeria in Lagos with the theme “Clinical Emergencies in Nigeria”, the experts underlined “pandemic” negligence in management of accident victims, disease outbreak, poor response to general clinical emergencies by government, medical practitioners and regulatory bodies with outdated policies and poor governance.

According to them, these have resulted to barratry, multiple of thousand deaths across Nigerian hospitals.

A former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, while speaking on challenges of healthcare management in Nigeria lamented poor finance management and lack of accountability in governance.

According to him, the antidote to the challenges include having “political will for health at the highest level of government and legislation” improved funding (targeting 15 percent for health in the budget), implementation of the national health act, strengthening of the NCDC and Improvement of stakeholders engagement.

The Head of Health & Life Operations at Continental Reinsurance Plc, Olaolu Omifare, in a research paper on “Use of HMOs and Insurance products in funding healthcare in Nigeria”, said 71 percent of the 5000 respondents have heard about health insurance but over 52 percent do not have any health insurance subscription.

Hence, the need for more health insurance coverage by HMOs and the need for government to make the scheme mandatory, improving regulation and exploring alternative funding, he opined

Also, the CEO of Conrad Clark Nigeria, Joachim Adenusi, in his remark, emphasised the poor governance structure in the health sector, calling the attention of the delegates to the result of a governance research conducted by Conrad Clark for the health sector showing only 4.86 percent of the hospitals in Lagos have governance structure and 3.54 percent with risk management structure.

Adenusi called on all health stakeholders to play their roles effectively, manage uncertainties and increase productivity across board.

Similarly, Dr Sanusi TAB, Registrar, Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria in his paper spoke on the role of the council as a regulatory body for health practitioners in ensuring proper conduct of professional practice.

While Chikwe Ihekweazu, CEO, National Coordinator, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) looked at solving other healthcare management challenges in Nigeria with emphasis on the implementation of “the One health approach”- the need to establish a multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary coordination mechanism (political and technical) at FG, State and LGA level.