Short Report

Contributions of family physicians to health care services in Nigeria

Tijani I.A. Oseni, Tawakalit O. Salam, Akinfemi J. Fatusin
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 13, No 1 | a2943 | DOI: | © 2021 Tijani I.A. Oseni, Tawakalt O. Salam, Akinfemi J. Fatusin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 February 2021 | Published: 19 May 2021

About the author(s)

Tijani I.A. Oseni, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria; and, Department of Family Medicine, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Irrua, Nigeria
Tawakalit O. Salam, Department of Family Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria
Akinfemi J. Fatusin, Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Gusau, Nigeria


In Nigeria, family physicians are doctors with specialised training to manage a broad range of clinical conditions and pathologies when they first present, considering the psychosocial, economic, cultural and environmental context of the individual and his or her family. In Nigeria, family physicians may be found at district hospitals but are more likely to be located at tertiary health care facilities, where their roles in medical education, research and clinical services cannot be overemphasised. Many patients present to tertiary facilities with primary-care problems, bypassing primary and secondary care. They are often seen initially by family physicians in general outpatient clinics, where 70% of all problems are managed without referral to other specialists. These physicians are also in charge of most of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) clinics nationwide. They are thus the gatekeepers to the majority of tertiary hospital services.


family physicians; health care; general outpatient clinics; NHIS; contributions, Nigeria


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