1 The Challenges Of Health Care Systems In Nigeria
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The Challenges of Health Care Systems In Nigeria

    The Challenges of Health Care Systems In Nigeria

    The challenges of the Health Care Systems in Nigeria

    The challenges of the Health Care Systems in Nigeria can’t be overemphasized when you have an idea of how primary, Secondary and tertiary health care systems are poorly managed.

    Over the years, governments have been making frantic efforts to better and improve the public health care system located in urban and rural areas, but it seems all input tends to yield no result

    Such reform’s of the public health care system  includes,

    • National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)
    • National Immunization Coverage Scheme (NICS)
    • Midwives Service Scheme (MSS)
    • Nigeria Pay for Performance Scheme

    These scheme like the NHIS has failed to completely address the countries health care systems due to the following reasons,

    • Lack of funding
    • Political Instability
    • Corruption 
    • Lack of information
    • Poor Remuneration of Health workers
    • Poor Education System 
    • Fake Drugs
    • Inadequate Supply of Medication
    • Lack of Maintenance Culture 
    • Lack of Medical Facility
    • Lack of Funding

    Lack of funding from the national budget has drastically affected the growth of the health sector in Nigeria.In 2020, the allocation of the National budget to the health sector was less than 8% which further cut down from 44.4 billion to 25.5 billion.

    Although there has been slight reform in the 2023 budget which shows a significant increase from the N826.9 billion allocated to the health sector in 2022 and the N547 billion allocated in 2021.

    Despite the percentage increase in the budgetary allocation to the health sector, some rural and urban areas still lack  human capacity and medical infrastructures to save lives.

    Political Instability 

    Political Instability retards the growth and development of a nation.When Government policies aren’t unified or continuous, it results in an unstabilized economy.

    When economic and Governmental policies are not programmed on a long term basis, it tends to affect the health sector as plans to build more hospitals and provide medical infrastructures may be abated.


    Corruption and embezzlement of public funds has absolutely stagnated the growth and development of primary Secondary and tertiary health care systems in Nigeria.

    When funds allocated to the various health care systems are diverted to individual pockets, it conspicuously explains why health care services are not properly funded or maintained.

    Some corrupt Government officials have been a major problem to their constituencies.They seem to deliberately divert public funds meant to maintain and provide adequate medical facilities in rural communities. 

    Anti corruption agencies like EFCC and ICPC have persistently made frantic efforts to fish out and persecute these corrupt officials, but it looked as if corruption is now fighting back.

    Poor Remuneration of Health workers

    Most Qualified and Professional health workers in Nigeria aren’t adequately paid enough for saving lives in Government hospitals.

    Resident Doctors and other medical personnels always embark on industrial actions due poor wage and funding of the health sector.

    Poor monthly enumeration gas prompted why we are having a mass exodus of Nigeria Doctors leaving the shores of this country to seek for greener pastures in Europe , Asia and other developed countries.

    When the best medical practitioners decide to leave our hospitals, the health sector will be rendered incapacitated.

    Lack of Qualified Doctors 

    We claim to have myriads of qualified medical practitioners, but that isn’t true because most institutions do not produce full baked medical doctor’s.

    Most health science students do not pass through life practicals,they are only exposed to theories and visual images.The inability for them not to have gone through life practical experience and knowledge while studying may hinder their chances of becoming qualified doctors in our society.

    Poor Education System 

    Most Nigeria tertiary institutions are not properly equipped with research libraries.Research centers are very vital when it comes to economic and human capacity development.

    When there are no quality academic research centers for students to research on current health solutions, then the students will be deprived of quality citadel learning.

    Poor Hygiene

    Poor hygiene has contributed to the challenges health care delivery’s sytem face.Frankly speaking, an average Nigeria lacked access to clean water, good food and shelter.The inability to have these basis amenities has piled up pressure to health care services in Nigeria.

    As people continue to fall sick every day due to exposure to unhygienic substance’s, so also does the health care system being saddled with the responsibility of saving thousands of lives. 

    Fake Drugs

    The wide sale and use of fake Drugs in Nigeria has led many patients to early grave.The side effects of fake Drugs like poisoning, treatment failure and drug resistance can be nipped in the bud.

    Many patients have lost hope in the healthcare system because of the widespread use of fake and substandard Drugs.Although National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) since it establishment in 1993 has made frantic efforts to fish out and persecute fake Drugs manufacturers and dealers, but their efforts to completely eradicate the sale and use of fake drug isn’t yielding result.

    This ugly scene has further contributed to challenges the health care system are facing.

    Inadequate Supply of Medication

    Most health care systems in Nigeria are deprived of sufficient drugs to prescribe or give to sick patients.In some instances Patients with chronic ailment seems to travel abroad in order to drugs prescribed for their ailment

    As The healthcare system continues to suffer over lack of medication, it further creates enormous challenges as to how human lives are being endangered.

    Lack of Maintenance Culture

    Most health care facilities have become so  primitive and old fashioned.The standard of medical facilities we have in some Government owned hospitals are outdated.

    Health care system in rural areas and aren’t getting necessary attention when it comes to Maintenance and proper handling of the facilities.When there is no maintenance culture for hospital equipment like toilet, Ambulance, Dental facility, Ward/ Indoor facility, Minor OT/ Dressing Room, Physiotherapy, Laboratories, then these facilities may become rusty and bad.

    However, there is dire need for a complete overhauling and reform of the sector.Government needs to adequately fund and equip the health care system to World health organization (WHO) standard.

    More research centers should be built in university teaching hospitals and public hospitals in order to boost human capacity development and elevate health care services.

    Health Workers like the resident Doctors salaries should be improved.If health workers are well enumerated, there be any reason for embarking on industrial strike or seeking for greener pastures elsewhere

    More so, Anti Graft agencies like EFCC, ICPC and DSS should be more proactive in fighting corruption in order to mitigate embezzlement of public funds meant for healthcare workers and services.

    National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC and Standard Organization of Nigeria tighten up security for food and drugs we consume on a daily basis.

    In addition, The federal Government should also strive to stabilize health sector policies and make it a continuous project rather than short changing it from one tenure to another tenure.

    More importantly, FG should task security operatives and regulatory agencies to keep a close eye on constituency projects and ensure that funds meant for the development of health care centers were not diverted to individual pockets.

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