Earlier in the year, the Vanguard Newspaper published a highly provoking article on the shortage of health personnel, especially medical doctors, in Nigeria. This was a part of that article;
Prof Oluwole Ayoola Atoyebi, who was one time Provost, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, however accepts that the issue of inadequate personnel is global. But even though very few countries in the world have met the minimum standard set by the World Health Organisation, WHO, the magnitude of the problem in Nigeria is in a class of its own.
“In America and Europe, they have not met the required standard of one doctor to 500 people. But in Nigeria, we have one doctor to almost 20,000 people. There are two categories of doctors, the general duty doctors who just qualified, finished their internship and can practice, and the specialists. What we do here, in this College, is to produce specialists,” he says.
As an authority in the field of Medicine, this eminent Professor has seen first hand what the shortage of professionals can do. The vanguard article goes on to give the WHO recommended Doctor-to-patient ratio, a far cry as what is seen in Nigeria. Following from this bad statistics is that most of our hospitals are also bedeviled by long queues, overstretched man-hours for the doctor. I also gathered that the Nurse-to-patient ratio is 1:1000, that is one nurse to about 1000 patient. This is so sad.
It is in this light that the notion of consulting with a competent social media doctor or physician is a welcome trend. Most people who have a social media doctor save time and money by consulting with the doctors for conditions that obviously do not require the physical presence of patient in a hospital. This is cost effective for the patient as well as for the management of the hospital.
Other benefits of a social media physician is that he makes available periodic health tips for every body who subscribes to his services. The digital trend in Nigeria show that, the rapid rise in the use of smart phone. Nigeria has been acclaimed as the fastest growing smart phone usage in the whole of Africa. This says a lot. With this gadget at our disposal, we can live that optimum life we so desire. But what is more than getting almost free medical/health tips, advice, consultations from doctors, who are making these services readily available.
It is quite possible that in the nearest future, patients could be in the comfort of their homes and with just the click of a botton, would be the consulting room of physicians. This is the trend that is upon us. This implies that patients would only come to the hospital when the need is absolute, that is, in case of any condition that would require the doctor to do a thorough physical examination…. or in the event of the need for a surgical procedure.
MY ADVICE!!! If you have not subscribed to a social media doctor, do so as quickly as possible. You have nothing to lose. But make sure you get hooked-up today… Hopefully we would drastically close the doctor-to-patient ratio gap.