Day case surgery in Nigeria
Patient care in Nigeria is mostly government funded, from primary to tertiary levels, with little contribution from private sector and non-governmental organizations. Healthcare provision has become more complex and expensive partly due to increasing population, aging, and frequent cancellations of electives, but also due to the increasing emergence of new diseases, as well as shrinkage of resources in many developing countries like Nigeria, resulting from recent economic downturn, and political instability. Therefore, it is important to introduce and popularize the concept of day case surgery, as this may help hospitals and healthcare providers to streamline resources by reducing length of hospital stay, decreasing morbidity and mortality, and providing valuable bed services to emergencies. It also helps to reduce time lost away from work and indirectly helps to decrease loss of revenue for the individual and state. Many hospitals in Nigeria provide day care services with patients admitted to the general surgical wards, and no dedicated day surgery units (DSUs), as currently practised in developed countries. DSUs are the best way to achieve results and so it is important for all to embrace this concept in order to improve healthcare delivery to the rapidly expanding populations. A systematic search of the current published literature was carried out to look for articles related to day case surgery (day care or day surgery) in Nigeria and to examine some published articles in relation to the surgical subspecialities, with a view to highlighting current practice in Nigeria and how it conforms to ideal practice elsewhere. Recommendations and suggestions are made on how to implement and popularize this concept in our hospitals.