A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE AVAILABILITY OF RADIOLOGY SERVICES IN HEALTH FACILITIES IN NIGERIA
A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE AVAILABILITY OF RADIOLOGY SERVICES IN HEALTH FACILITIES IN NIGERIA
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Background Of The Study
The riches of a country is its health. Citizens' health is directly or indirectly tied to how productive a nation will be in terms of manpower and concerns relating to wealth creation. Furthermore, health is intimately related to the amount of medical infrastructure development, as well as how the infrastructure is used to bridge the gap between the affluent and the poor, as well as to boost productivity (Rathi, Agrawal, Bhatt, & Sharma, 2015). This is critical for the achievement of any meaningful development goal (s) in third-world and emerging countries.
Nigeria's healthcare system, on the other hand, is a hybrid of private and state providers. Unlike in many other affluent countries, health care in Nigeria is not typically free (Adeola, Alese, and Falaki 2017). The choosing of a health-care facility is a significant choice for the management and regulators of the Nigerian healthcare industry.
However, Nigeria, as a fast rising country, is still in the process of leveraging all available resources to improve the health facilities critical to providing effective healthcare services to its people. One area that should be prioritized is the establishment of a robust medical radiology unit for the health-care delivery system (Cain and Haque, 2018). A hospital subsystem is the radiology department. It possesses all of the characteristics of a service organization, as well as being a complex, dynamic system with facilities that interact and change over time (Centeno et al., 2015). In other words, the radiology unit employs specific systems that do visual body diagnostics and body imaging.
Furthermore, according to Kaul, Rothney, and Ergun (2018), digital medical imaging comprises the use of various digital and analogue techniques for acquiring, storing, transmitting, presenting, analyzing, visualizing, and reporting medical imaging of a patient. It is frequently made up of several interrelated processes, each of which is impacted by a different technology. Both radiologists and medical physicians utilize medical imaging to improve patient treatment and therapy. As a result, radiographers employ technology to diagnose and treat illnesses, while doctors use technology to assess the success of specific medications they have used to treat patients (Devin and Morrissey) (2018). Rediographic technologies have evolved through time, and there are several types of medical imaging, with new imaging modalities being produced as technology advances. Radiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and other imaging techniques are frequently used in modern medicine.
Ojoma and Olayemi (2018) decried the absence of radiation centers in Nigeria for the prevention and treatment of major health issues, highlighting the need of screening for preventative purposes, for which they argue that inadequate equipment is not even accessible in the country. Mammography and linear accelerators, for example, are used in cancer therapy, but the majority of Nigerian health institutions lack the necessary equipment.
In addition, medical imaging is critical for delivering more exact diagnoses for medical treatment and therapy. The advancement of big data research outputs has provided various opportunities for improving medical care. Big data analysis has the potential to establish a real-time imaging diagnostic system in the medical health care delivery system (Radiology.org 2020). This would lengthen and improve the efficiency of therapy coverage.
However, the majority of Nigerian government hospitals lack contemporary radiography procedures and tools for the current health care delivery system. As a result, the goal of this study is to look at the availability, accessibility, and price of radiology services in Nigerian hospitals.
Statement Of The Problem
Nigeria's healthcare system includes a hybrid of private and public providers. The public sector provides health care through three levels of government: federal (tertiary hospitals and some hospitals in federal institutions like as universities), state (state specialist and general hospitals), and local government districts (primary health care centers and health posts) (Lawrence 2019). In the private sector, they are broadly defined as those who give primary care (general practitioners), those who provide secondary care, and those who provide both primary and specialized care. Despite the importance of radiographic facilities and services to healthcare consumers, the majority of government hospitals in Nigeria lack current radiography procedures and appliances for a modern health care delivery system (Adeleke, 2017). Many government-owned hospitals with older radiology systems place a lower priority on acquiring new facilities. As a result, doctors prefer to refer patients to a privately run hospital where such treatments are available. Many Nigerian government hospitals lack even a basic ultrasonography technology (Coats, and Michalis, 2015). Patients are typically sent to a private clinic or a government teaching hospital to have access to advanced radiography equipment, according to Falsini, Perugia, and Schiraldi (2018). As a result, the vast majority of radiological services provided in privately held institutions are out of reach for the vast majority of healthcare seekers. According to Lev, Reveiz, and Shen (2016), the capacity of radiography facilities in Nigeria is virtually insufficient when compared to the rate of demand, and is mostly retained by private hospitals for commercial reasons. Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs), Radiology Centers, Hospitals, and Emergency Care Centers are examples of these institutions, with applications ranging from Chronic Disorders to Bone Tumors to Acute Injuries. The expense of purchasing or getting these treatments in privately held hospitals, on the other hand, is mostly afforded by the wealthy segment of society, while the average man battles for existence. The availability, accessibility, and cost of radiology services in Nigerian health institutions will be investigated in this study.
Objectives Of The Study
The study will attain the following specific objectives:
To investigate the availability of radiologic services in health facilities.
To examine the accessibility of radiologic services in health facilities.
To investigate the affordability of radiologic services in health facilities.
To examine the benefits of radiologic services in health facilities.
To investigate the radiographic services equipment procurement and management.
The following research questions guide this study:
What are the radiology services available in health facilities?
Are the radiologic services accessible in health facilities?
Are the available and accessible radiologic services in health facilities affordable?
What are the benefits of radiologic services in health facilities?
How is radiographic service equipment procured and managed in health facilities?
Significance Of The Study
The goal of this research was to meticulously unveil the available radiographic services in the study area, determine their accessibility and affordability, and learn more about the underlying elements that influence peoples’ utilization of health-care radiographic services. With an aim of providing significant recommendation.
Information obtained from this study will help the Federal, State and Local government authorities responsible for service delivery at healthcare sectors realize the current state of radiology services in the study area, enlighten them on possible factors which has influence the poor utilization of these services in Yobe state and perhaps develop strategies necessary for the improvement of radiographic services in the study area. More so. It will apprise them on the need to target their education and community messages to address the fundamental elements that act as barriers to utilization of health services. It will also help the service providers at the facility level to develop strategies and action plans that will encourage improved utilization of provided services. These activities will help initiate the process of improving access to radiographic services thereby improving the overall health outcome for every individual in the state eventually.
Additionally, this study will contribute to the current literature in this field and will also serve as a resource for academics, researchers, and students who may want to do future research on this or a comparable topic.
Scope Of The Study
The study is set to examine the availability, accessibility, and affordability of radiology services in health facilities. The study will further ascertain the benefits of radiologic services in health facilities, and assess Radiographic services equipment procurement and management. To achieve the optimum result from this survey, the study will be limited to selected public hospitals in Yobe State. Thus, the respondents would be obtained from patients and medical staff from Outpatient department (OPD), Operation Theatre Complex (OT), and Radiology Department (X-ray) specifically in the selected hospitals in Yobe State.
Limitation Of The Study
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.
In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.
More so, the findings of this study is limited to the sample population in the study area, hence may not be suitable used in comparison to other schools, local governments, states and other countries of the world.
Definition Of Terms
The following terms are defined to give meaning as used in this study:
Healthcare Service: This is the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best possible health outcomes.
Radiology: This is the science dealing with X-rays and other high-energy radiation, especially the use of such radiation for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
Medical Imaging: Medical imaging is the technique and process of imaging the interior of a body for clinical analysis and medical intervention, as well as visual representation of the function of some organs or tissues.
Radiology Facility: A facility with the equipment to produce various types of radiologic and electromagnetic images and a professional staff to interpret the images obtained.