A Nigerian University Don and Development & Health Economist with Mudiame University Irrua, Edo State, Dr. Francis Ilenloa Igberaese is worried that there is no health model that gives the poor access to healthcare in his country.
He stated this as part of his research gap at the SCOPUS International Conference on Economics and Business holding in Edinburgh, Scotland. Therefore, millions of poor people live without seeing a doctor but patronizing local herbalists whose efficacies are highly doubtful.
Dr. Igberaese also stated that since the country still mainly practise the outdated Out-of-Pocket model of healthcare delivery, those who do not have money are left to die before their times while many of them who may not die found themselves in permanent states of morbidity; the state of disability measured by both Instrumental Activity of Daily Living and Activity of Daily Living, which he said are “worse than being dead”.
The university teacher and researcher maintained that the lack of improved health model also leads to the validation of the “Failure of Success Hypothesis” where the doctor may only be able to postpone a patient’s death time without the patient being well enough for economic productivities and contributions to Gross Domestic Product, and at times, lead to both unhealthy “direct and indirect demand for death“.
He lamented that only the former President, Muhammadu Buhari and few elites who have the money to purchase health goods outside the country have experienced the “Success of Success Hypothesis” in Nigeria.
However in his study, he has observed some empirical irregularities in the treatments of poor patients in Irrua Special and Teaching Hospital, which in sympathy with the poor, has devised an unorthodox practice of initiating treatments and writing the costs in the case note of the patient for later payments. He noted that the practice is non-oriental but accidental for only emergency patients and maternal cases. In the case of emergency, it is restricted to helping the patients out of life threatening situations, not to make him fully recover. In the case of maternal cases, new mothers and their babies are detained in the hospital, in some cases, up to nine months until their relatives are able to pay their hospital bills.
“As a pro-poor and anti-poverty expert, I have been working on a suitable health model for three years now because even the Canadian National Health Insurance model imported by the Obasanjo’s administration can never cover up to 10% of Nigerians in decades to come because of the large informal sector. The United Kingdom Beveridge and the German Bismark models can also not work in a labour surplus economy like Nigeria’s. So, I discovered that we can have the Nigerian ‘Case Note Model’, which by this conference should be properly recognized, discussed and taught to students of Health Economics all over the world.
“Despite its many disadvantages I listed in the conference paper, it is still better that the Out-of-Pocket model because at least, those categories of poor patients are not abandoned to die at that time. With sufficient studies and public health interventions by local and international health concerns, all these disadvantages and limitations will be overcome and as a new health model for the poor is hereby born, not only for Nigerians but also for all developing economies.”
The researcher noted given the results and limitations recorded about the model in the burden of disease and costs of illness analysis, there are still a lot of research and development to be done in order to greatly improved and spread the model for use by all hospitals. He said that he would be gathering health stakeholders, do some Focus Group Discussions, Community Conversations, Contact tracings of patients to properly develop/improve the model. He therefore, asked for supports in the form of grants, collaborations and in any other way for further studies and development of his model.