Experts have advocated a closer working relationship between the public and private sectors to revive what they called comatose medical diagnostic system in the country. They also canvassed that the nation’s medical laboratories be made more efficient. At a diagnostic awareness forum organised by the Initiative for Medical Diagnostic Awareness in Lagos, the health professionals said Public-Private Partnership funding option offered the required result in medical diagnosis service.

Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, said there was an urgent need to find a solution to the “challenge of misdiagnosis.” “Medical diagnosis may jeopardise effective healthcare management and delivery,” he said, frowning on the popularity of “empirical treatment” as against evidenced-based health management. She blamed the challenge on the lack of public and private sector collaboration, commercial pressure on the private sector and inadequate planning.

Adeshina, said it was time the country paid more attention to PPP in order to change the sad trend and provide quality healthcare to Nigerians. IMDA Executive Director, Abimbola Adekoya, explained that the forum was planned to assess the major barriers to the development of healthcare delivery and suggest possible solutions.

Adekoya listed poor funding, inadequate infrastructure, limited access to new technology and uncoordinated partnership as some of the challenges. While he also advocated PPP option, he expressed concern over the dominance of the diagnostic sector by foreigners under the disguise of partnership. Also, Managing Director of the Union Diagnostic, Dr. Olusola Akinniyi, said medical diagnosis had the capacity to save more lives.

He however regretted that healthcare providers in developing countries, including Nigeria, lacked the basic tools to diagnose properly. “In order to achieve the best medical outcome, advanced diagnostic examinations need to be applied. This is important to determine the patients’ underlying health problems precisely. But the basic tools are not available,” he said.

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