I am thrilled seeing how the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) & the National Association of Nigeria Nurses & Midwives (NANNM) keep collaborating to improve on inter-professional harmony.
This is a complete departure from the unhealthy rivalry that has bedevilled the medical/health sector. I try l to imagine a scenario where NMA & NANNM will in unison cry that medical tourism by politicians & public office holders shall no longer be accepted until our medical/health system is given much needed attention by the federal & state government.
It is common sight today to see Teaching Hospitals across the country being run like clinics, I have witnessed severally how patients who seek medical attention in teaching hospital are referred to private hospitals for medical tests like scans, X-ray & other laboratory examinations because the machines in the teaching hospitals are broken due to lack of proper maintenance or lack of laboratory reagents.
How about common consumables like disposable gloves & syringes? Drugs in the pharmacy?
In compliance to best global practices, tertiary health facilities should also be involved in research, finding solutions to existing problems & improving on existing solutions. How much has the government budgeted for research & where are the results to justify the release of said funds?
I once worked in one of the best tertiary health centers in the country, Jos University Teaching Hospital. I can tell you that some of the best brains you can find anywhere in the world are lying waste there. We have veterans, we had near geniuses, we had a team of dedicated Doctors & Nurses all working under conditions that are not encouraging at all.
I was part of the surgical team that once operated without power, we used our phones from the time the patient was intubated to when he was extubated. The entire thing happens to be a miracle because the surgery was done successfully & I believe the patient had full recovery! Frankly, these are the issues Nigerian Medical Association & the Nurses Association needs to be fighting for.
Where is the place of the patient in all if these? Should we continue to cry for more money everytime while the system continues to decay? What good will it do to rub the most expensive powder on the face of a patient suffering from Myasthenia Gravis or what good will an air max do to a patient with gangrenous feet. For what it's worth, both unions should see themselves as partners in trust & custodians of the wellness of the nation.
We can fight for amongst others:
1. Better budgeting or funding of the health sector( add a couple more zeroes)
2. infrastructural development
3. Better equipping of the nations health sector.
4. Improve Health insurance
5. Expanded PHC
6. Grants for research
7. Improved maternity intervention
8. Better welfare packages
I have a lot of faith that corporation between Doctors & Nurses is what we need to get the nations Health sector working.
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