Cost of treating COVID-19 patient in Nigeria.

Very soon, government will ran out of fund to take care of the treatment and the poor can not afford it.

One issue that has continued to remain contentious in COVID-19 has been the cost of treatment per patient. Presently, the country’s health authorities are yet to come up with an official COVID-19 cost estimate per person.

However, analysts believe the cost of treatment in Nigeria would be around 15 percent of treatment cost in the United States. In the United States, a number of health spending reports were released in March 2020 from Kaiser Health Foundation, as well as, FAIR Health, Inc.These reports estimated the cost range of treating a single COVID-19 patient requiring hospitalisation to be within $5,000 to $88, 000 per person, depending on severity and duration of hospital stay

This 15 percent estimate will mean an average cash outlay of $750 to $13, 000 (or N270, 000 to N4.7million per person depending on the duration of hospital stay i.e. six-day stay or 23-day intensive care hospitalisation). This multiplied by 200 positive cases could mean N54m to N940m0 just for Lagos alone. This, of course, excludes economic impact.

Also, ExpatAssure (a health insurance broker for expatriates) estimates an average healthcare cost of $275 for a single night in a Nigerian hospital with an additional $110 average cost for consultation (i.e. likely cash outlay for 6 days is $1,650 or N594, 000). So for 200 patients in Lagos could mean N118m for a six-day stay.

Painting a clearer picture of the cost of treatment, a consultant public health physician/epidemiologist at LUTH, Dr. Olufela Oridota said: “The cost of a test is about $30 and not less than $20. You need to test a person at least three times before he/she is discharged because after the first positive test, two tests with negative results must be obtained before a patient is discharged. However, some people are tested more than 10 times like the Italian index case, who was tested several times. Some people can test negative, but their second test can come out positive when all that is needed before anyone is discharged is two negative results. This (test) is only one aspect of the cost.

By Okoye Chidiebele

Am Flamboyant. Oku!

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