Flying doctors seek investment in air ambulance services
Flying Doctors Nigeria has advocated for improved investment and development in air ambulance infrastructure to ensure patients got prompt healthcare.
So doing, the government will save billions of dollars just by concentrating expert resources and reducing healthcare spending.
Founder, Flying Doctors, Nigeria, Dr. Ola Brown, lamented the high cost of healthcare in the country, saying the Federal Government does not have enough money to build centres of medical excellence in every state of the federation.
Brown reasoned that in such circumstance, “Nigeria needs to develop its air ambulance infrastructure led by companies such as the Flying Doctors Nigeria Air Ambulance service, to ensure that patients can access healthcare.”
She added that the Flying Doctors Nigeria had developed a cost-effective, commercial air ambulance solution that allows patients to be transported by air for less than the price of a ground ambulance.
“This cost pales in comparison to the cost of developing multiple hospitals which would be financially impossible to staff or equipped and run on their current budget,” she said.
Brown noted that the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) budget stands at more than $100 billion per year, and it coves 65 million citizens. Whereas Nigeria’s entire budget, by contrast, is about $12 billion per year, over 60 per cent of which goes to recurrent government expenses such as salaries, travel, training, and perks.
She lamented that there is less than $1 billion for healthcare in a country with a population of 170 million people.
According to her, “Putting a state-of-the-art hospital in every state of Nigeria would cost about $30 billion, which is more than double the entire budget. Even if we had the money, we lack the resources in terms of doctors, nurses, support staff, maintenance engineers to ensure that these hospitals could function.”
She added that the only viable alternative is to centralise the country’s healthcare system, with just one or two state-of-the-art centres that are home to Nigeria’s finest and most experienced medical practitioners. These centres, she reiterated, would receive the bulk of healthcare investment, allowing doctors to specialise effectively.
“Majority of the sick people do not need to be in hospital. They can be managed effectively through primary care systems in the community.