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Establishing A Diagnostic Centre in Nigeria; The Opportunities.

The public healthcare service delivery in  Nigeria consists of different levels of public healthcare institutions, starting from the bottom of the pyramid of healthcare facilities and going to the top, an integrated; step up referral system with a network of primary health centers, community health centers general hospitals, federal medical centres and teaching hospitals.

Patients are provided advanced level of curative, surgical, and diagnostic services as they move up the hierarchy.

Primary healthcare delivery is provided at local government where the patients are treated for minor sickness, basic specialties, and minor surgeries.  General hospitals provide secondary medical care, delivering service in general medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics, opthalmology, ENT, dental, laboratory and radio diagnosis.

According to a 2015 BMI report, there were an estimated 3,534 hospitals in 2014, 950 of which were in the public sector. These included 54 federal tertiary hospitals comprising 20 teaching hospitals, 22 federal medical centers, three national orthopedic hospitals, the National Eye Centre, the National ENT Centre and 7 psychiatric hospitals, which are overseen by the Hospital Services Department of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).

The private sector is the dominant provider of care in many areas, accounting for the greater part of secondary care facilities. In 2005, the FMOH estimated that there were around 9,000 private health facilities, but information on their location and the level of care provided was patchy. Private health facilities are thought to include around 2,600 private hospitals and clinics.

Nigeria had an estimated 134,000 hospital beds in 2014, equal to 0.8 per thousand populations, which is well below the rate for the African region. The number of hospital beds is estimated to have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8 percent since 2009, slightly higher than population growth but at an insufficiently high rate to have a significant impact on the population bed ratio.

Diagnostic service is required for providing effective diagnosis of the disease suffered by the patient, measure the quantum of medicines to be provided, quantify the extent of cure effected, identify the medical sensitivities of the patient to avoid wrong/under/over medication resulting in adverse effects and to extend the research and development capabilities of the medical process.

Demand for diagnostic related equipment and technologies such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography scan (CT), Digital X-Ray, Ultrasound, Mammography, ultrasound scans, as well as anesthesia kits and mortuary equipment have increased significantly since the introduction of the National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP).

CT Scan machine is used to produce cross-sectional (tomographic) images (virtual “slices”) of specific areas of a scanned object, allowing the user to see inside the object without cutting while the ultra sound machine is used to see internal body structures such as tendons, muscles, joints, vessels and internal organs.

Endoscopy

Gastroscopy machine is used to see the inside of the gullet, stomach and duodenum while colonoscopy machine is used to see the inside of the large bowel and the distal part of the small bowel with a CCD camera or a fiber optic camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus.

According to research report, the diagnostic services market is expected to continue growing at 8.5% for next five years. This growth is likely to be driven by improving healthcare facilities, medical diagnostic and pathological laboratories, private-public projects, and the health insurance sector. Moreover, with the rise in health consciousness in the society and the rising burden of chronic diseases, the market would also experience growth.

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