Doctor to patient ratio and infrastructure gap in a psychiatric hospital in oil rich Eket, Nigeria
This cross sectional retrospective study aimed at bringing to global attention the wide mismatch between doctors and infrastructure available to patients seeking mental health care at Psychiatric hospital, Eket, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, and the implications of such mental health gap. Records of a total of 870 patients over a 3-month period (May-July) were reviewed. The Federal Ministry of Health, National Health management Information System, Health Facility Daily Attendance Register (Version 2013) was used to review the patients in terms of outpatient, inpatient, specialist medical care and outcome. The Hospital Inpatient Facilities Checklist (for Psychiatric Units), was used to access the level of facilities and compliance to standards. Data analysis was done using SPSS Version 17. The results were quite revealing among which was the fact that in a 74-bed hospital, there were 6 (8.1%) beds, leaving a shortfall of 68 (91.9%) beds with bed to population ratio of 3:100,000 (critical bed shortage, <12 per 100,000), with many patients lying on the bare floor within the study duration (May-June 2014). Thus, the enormous problems characterized by inordinate resource gaps resulting in tragically high and persistent unmet mental health needs require urgent attention to improve efficiency in service delivery.
Key Words: Patient, ratio, gap, infrastructure, resources.