Tertiary hospital standards in Nigeria: A review of current status
Nigeria’s tertiary hospitals have faced public criticisms over substandard services and poor infrastructure reported in the mass media during early to mid-2019. Peer-reviewed studies in the medical literature have painted similar pictures of poor healthcare quality at most of the nation’s public hospitals. For instance, studies have revealed tertiary hospitals lacking vital equipment needed for emergency care of acute asthma and obstetric hemorrhage, while hospital administrators complain of insufficient personnel made worse by inadequate electricity from the national grid, poor government funding and bureaucratic bottlenecks undermining staff recruitment and training. This grim situation is at total variance with global best practices for tertiary healthcare adopted by many countries. Matters may yet get worse with Nigeria now in the midst of a coronavirus epidemic and its potential to overburden weak healthcare systems unless urgent efforts are made to improve healthcare quality. A practical and effective way to improve healthcare quality is via strict enforcement of minimum healthcare standards in line with global best practices and the regulatory provisions of the nascent National Tertiary Health Institutions Standards Committee established by the National Health Act 2014.
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