A recent Chandler Good Governance Index (CGGI) report indicates that the Nigerian healthcare system is on the verge of collapsing. For the year 2021, zero contribution is recorded in the Nigerian healthcare sector as it is ranked third at the bottom of the countries under the good governance index. Out of the 104 countries on the list, Nigeria emerged number 102.
On the April 1, 2021, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) went on an indefinite strike that lasted for 10 days due to poor working conditions, unpaid salaries, hazard allowance, COVID-19 inducement allowance, among others. During this period, patients were reportedly abandoned in public hospitals across the country.
It is imperative to note that in 2017, the Nigerian government announced its plan to renovate 10,000 Health Care Centres (PHCs). In 2021, data show that out of 30,000 PHCs in Nigeria, only 6,000 are functional, but they lack adequate equipment.
As a result of ill-equipped PHcs and underpaid health workers, Nigeria contributes not less than 20 per cent of global maternal deaths.
While it is so problematic that there are just five hospital beds for every 100,000 people in Nigeria, the federal government still spends less than five per cent of its annual budget on health.
Given the precarious state of healthcare delivery in the country, it will not be out of place to allow private investors into the sector, especially in the rural areas.
This will not only improve access to healthcare, but may also ensure proper management of the system.
For a country with a population of over 200 million people, the government also needs to increase its budget on health.
Muhyideen Kolawole is an African Liberty Writing Fellow