Surgeon Says More Nigerians Need Access To Intensive Care Services
Federal and State Governments have been called upon to review the Health Insurance Scheme in the country to enable enrollees have access to Intensive Care services.
Dr Chiemelu Emegoakor, a Managing Consultant at Eldorado Multi Specialist Hospital, Awka made the call at the inauguration of Eldorado Multi-Specialist Intensive Care Unit in Awka on Sunday.
Emegoakor, a General Surgeon said Intensive Care Unit(ICU) was expensive to set up and maintain which makes it not easily accessible for most Nigerians adding that the current Health Insurance Scheme was not designed to cover it.
He said ICUs were near non existent in South East Nigeria and this was exposed at the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 after which government started making effort to do so.
He said the major challenge to quality healthcare delivery in the private sector were cost of power supply and inability of patients to for pay for services.
“There is paucity of ICU centres in South East, sadly there was almost none before COVID-19, it was after the outbreak that people started establishing ICUs in the area and we are among the few that are able to do so.
“ICU is capital intensive to set up, for this one we spent about N50 million, a lot of money is needed to maintain it and pay professional who use them.
“It is expensive to run and the at the moment no Health Insurance covers Intensive Care, I am aware government is working to scale up the cover, I want to appeal that they should do so.
“This will help enrollees of health insurance can be able to access that level of healthcare service because it is not easy for out of pocket payment, “ he said.
Emegoakor said ICU centres are critical aspect of health service delivery as it took care of patients with life threatening ailments before and after surgery.
He said the categories of patients included those who underwent surgery for head injury, severe heart disease, cardiac arrest, sudden cessation of heartbeat, irregular heartbeat and severe accidents.
According to him, we are launching our newest introduction in the management of patients in the hospital, which is a modern Intensive Care Unit for people that are critically ill.
“This ICU is equipped with Multipurpose Cardiac Monitor, Infusion Pump, Syringe Pump, Ventilator Machine, Arleta Blood Gas and Defibrillator Machine,” he said.
Declaring ICU centre open, Dr Vincent Okpala, Commissioner for Health in Anambra lauded the management of the hospital for providing such facility in the state with up to date equipment.
Okpala said it would go a long way to complementing the effort of government adding that private sector health were doing greatly in helping achieve an efficient sector in the state.