Flying Doctors Founder Pens Book on Healthcare Improvement

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By Ferdinand Ekechukwu

The Founder, Flying Doctors Nigeria, Dr. Ola Brown has published her book on how to address Nigeria’s healthcare system, Titled: ‘Fixing Healthcare in Nigeria.’

The book, which she said was a guide to some of the key policy decisions that will provide better healthcare service to all Nigerians, is available online for downloads.

The trainee helicopter pilot has published two medical textbooks ‘EMQ’s in Pediatrics’ and ‘Pre-Hospital Care for Africa’, as well as articles in the British Medical Journal, New York Times and the Huffington Post.

“With my years of experience working within Nigeria’s healthcare system, I felt I had to offer some practical solutions to the problems that are holding us back,” she said during a pre-press review of her book recently.

“While our challenges are more economic than they are clinical, I think much can be accomplished through organisational restructuring, task shifting, and a re-prioritisation of public and primary healthcare services.

“But let me also say that I don’t minimise the need for additional funding and I suggest several paths that need to be explored in order to upgrade financing.

“It’s my hope that my book will get the discussion going and prompt leadership to look at some new ways to approach healthcare delivery in Nigeria,” Brown said.

The book looks at the current healthcare system in Nigeria from several points of view.

Brown also examined how some commercial enterprises have achieved success in Nigeria and suggests that those in charge of delivering healthcare adopt some of the ideas that have proved successful in private enterprise.

One of the examples she holds up is the success of Dangote’s Cement Company. Dangote’s Obajana factory is one of the most advanced and largest cement factories in Africa.

Much of the company’s success is due to its ability to reduce its costs while at the same time increasing its output. Central to this is Dangote’s massive network of small distributors spread out through Nigeria’s communities.

Dr. Brown contrasts the success of Dangote’s decentralised system to the problems found in the Chinese cement industry, where large centralized plants are located far from where the cement is actually used.

She sees a parallel with healthcare in Nigeria, which she believes is overly dependent on large centralised hospitals and has too few decentralised primary care units.