Dr Dapo Soyinka, the Medical Director of a Lagos-based private Maternal and Child Centre, has called for synergy between private, primary and secondary hospitals to ensure better healthcare for patients.
Soyinka made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos, said that public hospitals (primary healthcare (PHC), secondary healthcare (SHC) and tertiary hospitals (THC) alone “cannot provide quality healthcare for all Nigerians’’.
He decried a situation where patients were delayed at private hospitals and only referred to the SHC or THC when their condition became almost impossible to deal with.
“Somebody keeps somebody in labour for over 24 hours, refers the patient in 36 hours or 48 hours when labour is already obstructed.
“They don’t refer them during the day; they refer them around 12 midnight.
“Then you come to a public institution where resources are limited, where they’ve got a lot of cases, they’re backlog of cases to be done and then you expect that things will just fall on your laps.
“It doesn’t work that way.
“There need to be synergy between that private institution where that person is coming from and the public. There needs to be a proper referral system.”
The medical director urged doctors to set up a network within their zones or localities where they could work closely.
He added that collaboration between doctors and hospitals would reduce waiting time for patients and prevent deaths.
He also advised private doctors to look beyond financial gains and think of the health of the patient always.
“If I have a woman, who is 30 or 32 weeks pregnant and I know that I will have to deliver her because of certain problems, I will not deliver her and then be looking for somewhere to put the baby.
“Most practitioners in private practice will deliver that woman so that they can get the caesarean section money.
“I’d rather refer that woman with the baby. The baby is still is safe inside. She’s still a living incubator.
“Get space for her in a facility, so that by the time they decide to deliver her in that secondary facility or tertiary institution, there would have been provision made for the baby. The baby is likely to live.
“And this is what you gain when you talk to colleagues there. So that synergy is still not there.
“We still see referrals that you can’t explain why. We still see referrals that are unwarranted, we see referrals that are very late.
“Some even come without any referrals, yet we know they were receiving care somewhere.
`We see them with drip set and we know they were receiving care somewhere and the patient will refuse to disclose where he or she is coming from.”
While speaking on the cost of healthcare and its accessibility, Soyinka lauded the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) saying when launched will make healthcare more affordable.
“It’s going to awaken a lot of our PHCs. Patients can go to the PHCs to register. It’s far cheaper than what you have in private,” he said.