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‘Nigeria needs paradigm shift to achieve sustainable healthcare’

Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris

Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris

For Nigeria to achieve a sustainable healthcare system there must be a paradigm shift, not just in the structure of the health system and the services it provides but also in the mindset of individuals, Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Jide Idris, has said.

Idris said sustainability is a robust concept that has thrown his walls across different industries including energy, agriculture, forestry and even construction and should not be a tangible concept in health sector.

Speaking at the maiden edition of the Medic West Africa conference and exhibition in Lagos recently, he said there is very little about the existing healthcare system that is sustainable. “To achieve sustainability, it is necessary to look beyond what we have now to what we really want,” he said.

According to him, “our physicians, hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies and health insurance among others all make a lot profit out of sick people. Without so many sick people, many of us would be out of business.”

He said the profit motive in sick care is counterproductive and its purveyors would not willingly accept changes by threatening profits and livelihoods. “This infrastructure is unsustainable and to great extent unnecessary to the illnesses preventable. The health sector of any economy forms the backbone of its growth and development,” Idris said.

He explained some of the factors mitigating Nigerian health performance to include; inadequate health facilities and structures, poor management of human resources, poor motivation and remuneration, inequitable and unsustainable healthcare financing, skilled economy and political relations, corruption, illiteracy, high user risk and absence integration for users among others.

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