In Nigeria, we have generally been taught to believe that out of pocket payments are archaic, and insurance is the best way to access healthcare. I was quite surprised to find out that a group of physicians in the United States were going back to a semblance of this “archaic” model, and I was interested in learning about what they were doing.
The Western Health Care Leadership Academy Conference in San Diego provided an amazing review and discussion of health care policy. While everyone was unified in the goal of make health care more affordable while protecting physician quality of life, diverse opinions were represented regarding how to reach that end.
From my understanding, DPC would work well in a country where the primary healthcare system is well established, and the people are economically better off, which is not the case in my country. … To cater for the majority of Nigerians, a healthcare financing system that demands less from the people in terms of economic input would be a way to go. There is, however, a growing middle class that would benefit from the direct primary care model if introduced.
Despite the potential problems, the ideas presented at this conference were discussed with a sense of optimism for the field that I had not previously encountered, and I walked away understanding that there are many opportunities after graduation that extend beyond just being someone else’s employee.