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Health  2023 

Estimating the Monetary Value of Hours Lost to the Nigerian Public Healthcare System When Full-Time Government Employee Doctors Engage in Dual Practice

DOI: 10.4236/health.2023.152016, PP. 215-238

Keywords: Dual Practice, Hours Lost, Nigeria, Private Practice, Public Healthcare, Absences

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Abstract:

Background: Dual Practice (DP) allows full-time public sector doctors to concurrently offer the same clinical services in the private sector. The debate against this practice seems to be largely influenced by its potential to reduce the contracted hours in the public sector and shift attention to private work. Purpose: The purpose of this secondary research is to estimate the monetary value of hours lost to the Nigerian public healthcare system when full-time government employee doctors are engaged in private practice. It attempts to quantify the amount of resource outflow from the public system due to absences and lateness arising from competition for time between the public system’s contracted hours and private practice. Methods: Sensitivity analysis in Excel 2010 was used to calculate doctors’ hourly pay in the public sector using the 2015 Consolidated Medical Salary Structure for medical and dental officers in Nigeria’s federal public service. The parameters used for the calculation were the official 40-hour working week and the average monthly gross pay of doctors on different grade levels. Hypothetical scenarios of hours lost due to absences associated with DP were created. The value of different hypothetical hour losses by the percentage of doctors assumed to engage in dual practice across all doctor grade levels was then computed. Results: The estimated annual value of hours lost from dual practice to a single public tertiary care hospital was N4,851,754 or 15,855 USD (best case scenario) and N19,407,017 or 63,422 USD (worst case scenario) for the normal routine work and N1,800,133 or 5883 USD (best case scenario) and N3,600,266 or 11,766 USD (worst case scenario) for the on-call duty. Conclusion: The government may have been paying salaries for large volumes of work not rendered in the public sector. The overall financial impact of dual practice in the Nigerian public system might be negative.

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