In many public hospitals in Nigeria, the availability and cost of oxygen could be there difference between life and death. Oxygen is vital to life, and as such it should be readily available to patients who are in need of it in our hospitals.
However, this is not the case, as the cost of oxygen in Nigerian hospitals has skyrocketed in recent years, leaving many low income patients stranded, with some dying in the process of waiting to get the life-saving gaseous element.
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In this article, we are going to give you a break-down of the cost of oxygen in Nigerian hospitals. This information has become vital as many patients need it in order to be well acquainted with how much they will have to pay if the need arises and they find themselves in the hospital in need of oxygen, either for themselves or their loved ones.
For the record, the cost of administering oxygen in Nigerian hospitals depends, to a large extent, on the hospital you visit. Private clinics and hospitals are much more expensive than their government-owned counterparts.
Also, the availability and pricing may also be influenced by other prevailing factors such as needs assessment and class of the patient involved.
So, How Much Is the Cost?
So you might want to ask, how much is oxygen sold in Nigerian hospitals? Well, according to available statistics, in most Nigerian hospitals, oxygen is administered at the rate of N4,500 per hour for adults and N3,000 per hour for children.
A quick calculation based on this amount reveals that for a whole day’s supply of this precious life-giving element, you will cough out N108,000. For a month, the bill climbs to around N3.24 million. For patients who need a full year’s infusion of oxygen, the cost exponentially climbs up to N39.42 million.
Is It Widely Available?
However, there is a snag, though, as oxygen cylinders are not even widely available in most Nigerian hospitals, even as the price shoots through the roof.
Due to poor infrastructure in our hospitals, middle men have capitalised on that to hijack the supply of these life-giving element, making it inaccessible to ordinary Nigerians.
Over the years, the cost of cylinders of oxygen needed for medical emergencies have gone up drastically, in part due to the impact of middle men on the peddling of this life-saving commodity.
In most hospitals, most surgical operations are routinely cancelled due to lack of oxygen supplies to ensure a smooth operation.
In others still, patients routinely die as a result of the unavailability of the substance, or the high cost of it, which often is far above the reach of the common man.
While there are usually centralised oxygen tanks in hospitals in advanced countries, the situation in Nigeria is critical, as oxygen is usually bought in bottles sold by business-minded middlemen.
This means that the commercialisation of the commodity has rendered most who truly need to substance but don’t have the financial means to succumb to the cold hands of death.
This situation has been so critical that entire operations has to be suspended in most case when it is deemed the oxygen available won’t be enough, often leading to the loss of patients who hitherto were on life support.
What Is The Way Forward?
The entire healthcare system of the country needs to be restructured and revamped, with more funds allocated to the provision of such life-saving facilities like oxygen tanks, to save more lives and alleviate the plight of those caught up in the throes of the current dilapidated and crumbled system.
Government needs to find a way to subsidize the provision of oxygen to hospitals across the country, and help cut down on the number of avoidable deaths that are due either to the exorbitant cost of oxygen in our hospitals or the non-availability of this life-giving element that is abundant in nature.AD: Click here to Read Latest School News, Jobs, Scholarships
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