The need for Nigerian government and stakeholders to strengthen health care delivery system across the nation to retain highly skilled medical doctors in country has been stressed.
Akinsanya Osibogun, a professor and the president, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria stated this while speaking at the 17th annual Scientific Conference and All Fellows’ Congress Ilorin 2023.
Osibogun who identified poor renumeration and lack of adequate infrastructure as major changes confronting medical practitioners in the country; advocated for strategic measures and collaboration by all stakeholders to make the country’s health sector better.
“We know that government alone cannot do it. So, all stakeholders have to put in place mechanism to improve health sector and retain people we have trained in the country. The only way to retain them is by improving on their work environment so that all equipment and tools they need to render service would be available.
“Medical practitioners have to be well renumerated and the environment must be conducive to keep them in the country.
“Our challenge these days is not finding enough people to train. Younger doctors are migrating out of the country. We just heard that out of 100 percent students graduated, 50 percent of them are already out of the country.
“We need those younger doctors to be available for us to train them to become specialists and remain in Nigeria. So, together we can do that.”
Osibogun added that there is global market for professionals as people are looking for them in UK, Canada, and all over the world.
“For us to retain our skilled professionals; we must put in place enough incentives both financial and non-financial that has to do with equipment and facilities to deliver their services effectively and save lives.
“As a country, we need to come up with plans to ensure that required equipment are available geopolitically, statewide or by wards.”
In his welcome address, Foluwasayo Emmanuel Ologe, a professor and Chairman Local Organising Committee said the ASCAF conference theme “Improving Health Care Financing in Nigeria” and sub themes are; “Technology in Medicine and Public Private Partnership” is apt and timely.
He said professionals and scholar are carefully selected to do justice to the topics of the conference.
Ologe noted that after a rigorous deliberation on burning issues; it is expected that, “the outcome of the conference will impact significantly on the health care system of Nigeria.”
Similarly, Adekunle Bashiru Okeshina, a professor of Psychiatric and the Chairman, Information and Publicity protocol committee, submitted that National Post Medical College of Nigeria is saddled with the responsibility of training specialist and the students can perform academically and professionally.
“We train them to be professionally sound and you know health care has a unique need for every human being to be taken care of.
“When you’re talking of medical tourism, this can be reduced when we have our own trained specialist that can handle health care delivery.
“The essence of this conference is to deliberate on how we can maximise the output of little resources we have. As we are going through economic crisis, the money is there but it is not directed properly to the right channel thus, the little money that we have, how can we maximise the output in terms of health care delivery to our people.”
In his lecture, Kanu Nkanginieme, a professor of pediatrics and former Dean, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt has said that for Nigerian medical education enterprise to guarantee the quality of their finished product, professionals in training institute should pay more attention to educational principles.
Nkanginieme, who delivered lecture titled
‘Paradigm Shift in Twenty First Century, Nigerian Medical Education’ explained that medical institutions in the country are confronted with lack of adequate staff at state general hospitals while Federal medical centres are overstaffed.
He mentioned National Revolving Fund and Health Insurance Programmes to have remain in perpetual jeopardy.
To address the abnormalities in medical schools; he recommended placing premium attention to productivity, credibility and patriotism.
He said all that is needed is individual and collective positive attitudinal shift to accommodate some paradigm shifts.
He identified self-motivation and the need for those who choose to facilitate learning for medical education to study and understand how best to assist the weak learners optimise their potentials.
They also need to be conversant with operational key words in today’s learning environment which include; mentorship, proficiency, competency learner-centered less and quality assurance.
“From our population, Nigeria would rank 4th or 5th in the world’s population of medical doctors. With the preceding position, as a nation and as professionals, we should begin to exploit our potential to contribute to and impact on, rather than just benefit from developments in the practice, training and evaluation of medicine in today’s world,” he said.
Owoidoho Udofia, a professor and Consultant Psychiatrist from the University Teaching Hospital Calabar, who presented speech on a topic ‘Physician Well Being and Burn Out’ admonished medical doctors to create their supports system.
He noted that medical practitioners are exposed to overwork, and lots of stress, thus, they have to reduce burn out and improve job satisfaction by switching from pen to keyboard and embrace digital health.
Udofia warned doctors to reduce stress, help themselves, learn how to solve their problems and protect themselves at all time.