A PwC survey of Nigerians found that more than 90% of respondents associated advanced healthcare delivered in Nigeria with “low quality”. This perception has been established over many years – personal experience and those of others, media reports and the visible state of disrepair in healthcare infrastructure around them.
Each new report of poor clinical care has reinforced the belief among the population that Nigerian healthcare is somewhat substandard and should be avoided whenever an alternative can be found.
There are also negative perceptions arising from confusing the hospitality function (aesthetics and ambience of hospital, courtesy of staff etc) with the clinical function (effectiveness of care provided) of hospitals. Given the proximity of services, people are happy to go see their local doctor for primary care needs and routine medical attention, but whenever advanced medical care is required, the first option is to reach for their passports and head to foreign lands.
So, why are patients travelling abroad for healthcare? It is tempting to attribute much of this to lack of local facilities, inability to perform procedures locally and high costs charged where services are available. While this is true in some...