PDI Founder, Elliot Omose Offers Recipe For Improvement of Public Healthcare Delivery In Africa
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Elkris Group, Dr. Elliott Scott Omose, has observed that public healthcare management in most African countries remained poor and ineffective due to the faulty service delivery model and structure that governments and decision makers adopt.
Dr. Omose, who is also the Founder of PreDiagnosis International, an innovative public healthcare management non-profit organisation with footholds in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Gambia and a few other African Countries, disclosed this during a chat with journalists in Lagos, Nigeria over the weekend.
He said for the teeming poor and vulnerable population in the continent to really enjoy accessible public healthcare, the current structural loophole with universal health coverage in Africa with the glaring absence of Basic, Accessible and Affordable (BAA) healthcare at primary level must be fixed.
Omose said Africa remained poor in terms of provision of Universal health coverage which, according to the United Nations, “means that all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need, when they need them and where they need them, without incurring financial hardship”.
He further reminded the continent’s leaders and governments that, “The United Nations General Assembly High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage in 2019 strongly restated that Health is a precondition, outcome and indicator for social, economic and environmental dimensions of UN’s 2030 sustainable development goal”.
“In Africa today, primary healthcare is non-existent as soon as you start to move away from the capital cities because research across the continent reveals an unhealthy pattern whereby pharmacies and local drugs stores have been adopted as grassroots (primary) healthcare point by close to 70% of the vulnerable population in the continent.
“In rural Africa, a patient may never get to see or sit before a doctor more than five times in his or her life-time. And that is usually as a result of some intervention outreach by an NGO. For the rest of their lives, they are left at the mercy of pharmacy attendants and quacks as the only alternative to a GP,” he noted.
Continuing, Dr. Omose stated that, “Across the continent, the general hospitals and teaching hospitals are continually overwhelmed because most of the available qualified doctors are concentrated in urban cities and towns while the rural areas have next to nothing, thereby leaving room for self-medication and also for quacks and other unqualified hands to tend citizens’ health needs in the rural, hard to reach areas.
“So, most Public Health Centres, especially in rural areas, rot away due to lack of capable personnel to man them. Moreover, before the vulnerable class make it to those facilities because of the huge infrastructure deficit, majority of their cases are already beyond help”.
He therefore called on governments across the continent to re-envision primary healthcare management approach in order for citizens to derive maximum expected value from the resources and funds expended annually on provision of primary healthcare.
“There is an urgent need to embrace a more innovative model of primary health delivery with grassroots-focused universal health coverage structure that is customized to suit the peculiarities of the African terrain. Only this way can we begin to show seriousness in the attempt to try to bridge the terribly widening gap between the teaming vulnerable population and access to affordable basic (primary) healthcare”
Restating his readiness to assist, Dr. Omose submitted that PDI has developed and put to work a workable model for Essential Health Services which offers subsidized, affordable and accessible basic universal health coverage for rural and hard to reach areas of Africa.
“As part of our contributions to help our continent overcome this unacceptable situation we find ourselves currently, in 2020, we introduced, in Nigeria, the PDI Basic Universal Healthcare model which has the ‘PDI 25-point Early Detection System’ as its strategic core. Early this year, we also introduced in Sierra Leone the PDI blue-print for a nationwide Basic (Primary) Healthcare Initiative which goes under the name of Community Basic (Primary) Healthcare Clinic– CBHC.
“For the first time, the PDI Basic Universal Healthcare Model guarantees that the vulnerable African population can have full access to proper one-on-one doctor consultation services by way of a hybrid platform that ensures doctor’s appointment, twenty-four-seven doctor hotline, community mobile clinic, community health hub, free prescription services and other services all year round, twenty-four-seven, all for less than $15 a month, which is less than 30% of actual cost for the concierge personal health management services.
“We are therefore showing that with considerably very little financial outlay, Africa could do a lot more in managing the day-to-day personal basic healthcare needs of the vulnerable population,” he submitted.