21 October 2017

HEALTH CARE SYSTEM: A desperate need for reform

Adil Abdalla argues how the healthcare system cannot be considered as a system, rather it’s a group of professionals who save lives.

I’m not a  physician, but an Architect. I’m not only an unlisted politician, but an urban manager. My first experience with healthcare was during my graduation, proposing a public hospital; which had earned me an A+. My professional experience was the contribution to Dubai Healthcare City. My personal memoir was losing my grandmother to flu, followed by stroke, at Khartoum Hospital. Because my spouse is an Anesthetist, I can claim to be half-physician.

To start with, we should admit to having no healthcare system in Sudan. We only have a group of sincere professionals; who fight the odds to save the lives and reduce the pain, on a daily basis. Yet, healthcare is not about sincere efforts or wishes, but coherent structures of soft, hard, logistic, managerial and financial services. In the 1970’s, the WHO had appreciated a Sudanese program for providing basic and early interventions for all Sudanese, all over Sudan. The program consisted of 7000 stations across the country. This was our only well structured service in this controversial sector.

Advocating how our personnel are smart or dedicated is not the issue, as healthcare is a complex service; which requires lots of guidelines and tools to successfully deliver. No one here wants to downgrade any efforts, or to denounce the wishes about improved service. This talk is about quality, not in terms of technicalities, but in terms of governance.

We need to admit that there is no proper healthcare planning, operations or products. What we have is a service that has no hygienic standards, with a constant urinary stench in many hospital premises. It should be critically responsive, yet most ambulatories malfunction. It should be professionally sustainable, yet its Minister advises the personnel to migrate. It should be national, however, it’s urban and central. It should be progressive, yet it is uproot from accreditation and academics collaborations. It should be public, while it swiftly becoming a lucrative private enterprise. Its logistics and pharmacies should be handy, yet corrupt administrators and managers – of whom many are Physicians – spare no efforts to secure operations and services.

The reform will not conventionally commence by the Sudanese code of politicizing everything (SCPE). An independent syndicate will prove nothing, but honoring the professional mindset would do. Although our physicians spend 90% of their time upgrading their medical knowledge, they spend the remaining 10% in politics rather than healthcare management and governance training – which are extensively available online. Worldwide, very few healthcare professionals engage in the public politics, while ours do, and do so proudly. Since the famous protest of 1964 led by nurses in uniform till the latest extravaganza on the independent syndicate; can someone count the added values professionally and nationally?

True healthcare reform will get the momentum through its soft resources. Not the enthusiastic personnel who are eager to change, but who are professionally capable to do so. How is change in the healthcare system supposed to happen if the number of qualified planners, administrators, managers, financiers and auditors is not sufficient?

One Comment

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  • cordoned
    2 November 2012 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Great insights.

    Sudan’s failures are systemic.

    Professionals change much. The only solution is regime change. The state of Sudan is testament to it. The people have chosen. All that remains is unity and will.

    We need to see a visible 3rd party group communicate alternative Party Platforms.

    (See Reem Shawkat’s “A Childhood on the Streets of Khartoum” http://www.theniles.org/articles/?id=1506)

    (See the Difference between Systemic and Systematic > see http://grammarist.com/usage/systematic-systemic/)

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