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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 375-380

Doctors as managers of healthcare resources in Nigeria: Evolving roles and current challenges

Department of Community Health, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Temitope Olumuyiwa Ojo
Department of Community Health, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.171614

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Over the years, medical practice in Nigeria has evolved in scope and practice, in terms of changing disease patterns, patients' needs, and social expectations. In addition, there is a growing sentiment especially among the general public and some health workers that most doctors are bad managers. Besides drawing examples from some doctors in top management positions that have performed less creditably, critics also harp on the fact that more needs to be done to improve the training of doctors in health management. This article describes the role of doctors in this changing scene of practice and highlights the core areas where doctors' managerial competencies are required to improve the quality of healthcare delivery. Areas such as health care financing, essential drugs and supplies management, and human resource management are emphasized. Resources to be managed and various skills needed to function effectively at the different levels of management are also discussed. To ensure that doctors are well-skilled in managerial competencies, the article concludes by suggesting a curriculum review at undergraduate and postgraduate levels of medical training to include newer but relevant courses on health management in addition to the existing ones, whereas also advocating that doctors be incentivized to go for professional training in health management and not only in the core clinical specialties.

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