Dr Richardson Ajayi, a Consultant Gynaecologist, has advised medical doctors to always draw a line between the cardinal call to save lives and the quest to make profit while running private medical outfits.
Ajayi, the Executive Vice-Chairman of Bridge Clinic, Lagos gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja on Wednesday.
The gynaecologist proposed a number of strategies to effectively balance the two objectives
“The Nigerian health sector has observed an increased interest by investors into healthcare delivery, but experience has also shown that the best healthcare systems are those managed by doctors with management experience.
“Nigerian doctors must embrace modern management trends to create an enabling environment for industry consolidation.
“Such consolidation leads to greater economies of scale, reduced rivalry among doctors, and, more importantly, increased market power against partners like Health Maintenance Organisations.
“The objective can also be achieved by organising the industry through licensing and enforcement of standards which can be made effective in a service platform model,” he said.
Ajayi called for a sustainable transformation of the healthcare system, saying that a first step would be to identify the problem and work toward tackling it.
He highlighted the connection between the practice of medicine and the profession of healthcare, and stressed the need for a paradigm shift from the independent/sole proprietorship model, to a combined practice of medicine with the business of healthcare.
“To effectively render a sustainable service that does not put patient lives at risk requires a careful balance of various components.
“This matrix drives the value chain of primary and support activities,” he explained.
He called for clear lines to be drawn to define the ideals which, he noted, were critical to the successful outcome within the healthcare system.
“This model of separation between healthcare-as-service and healthcare-as-business has led to many medical breakthroughs across several hospital groups in the UK, India and other developed nations,” he said.