By Ifeanyi Okonkwo (Anambra),
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has tasked the members of Nigeria Medical Association (N.M.A) to join politics so as to be part of the state’s policy makers.
Governor Obiano, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health Anambra State, Dr. Josephet Akabuike, told the members at the NEC meeting, that the fact that they are professionals and practicing doctors, it should not hinder them from being politicians. He urged them to be interested because politics is for sound minds which they already have. He advised them saying that instead of doctors constantly complaining and always threatening on going on strike, they have the requirements of being policy makers.
The Governor in his speech said, “I welcome all of you to Anambra state and it is very important for this kind of meetings to be sustained because it is an avenue for knowledge and reunion of like-minds”.
On the challenges been faced by medical practitioners in the country, particularly in the state, Governor Obiano said, “The problem we have in Anambra state is not different from what other states are facing but, the government of Anambra state is committed in contributing its quota to take N.M.A Anambra chapter to the next level”.
“One of the things that will improve the medical association is the fact that the practice should be restructured."
Governor Obiano concluded by saying that Anambra state has introduced Insurance Scheme to help solve the health challenges of Ndi-Anambra.
The first lecture, which was delivered by Professor Oluwabunmi Olapade-Olaopa on the topic, “Medical Negligence: The Role of Consultants in Stemming the Tide”, called on medical practitioners, to take their practice serious through being dedicated to duty.
Professor Olaopa said, “Negligence can occur in any aspect of professional practice and in any specialty. I caution you to help save lives instead of losing patients due to nonchalant attitude”.
He pleaded with medical practitioners to make the care of their patients their first concern. He added by saying that medical errors are the 3rd commonest cause of death.
The guest lecturer counseled patients, saying that medical malpractice laws are in place to ensure victims of medical negligence receive compensation for injuries and lost from doctors and he told doctors that they could go to jail when been sued by patient’s relatives and family member over loss incurred.
Reacting on the constant strikes embarked upon by doctors, Prof. Olaopa said, “Strikes are a bit political and it’s necessary for all stake holders to work together to ensure that these strikes don’t happen. Doctors by nature don’t like going to on strike. We are not expected to go on strike on less matters are going beyond limits and it is the responsibility of everyone both the doctors and government and indeed the public to ensure that doctors don’t go on strike”.
On the significance of NEC meetings, Prof. Olaopa said, “The N.M.A recognizes the importance and need to educate doctors on medical practice. This is the essence of the association and it’s a very good gathering”.
The Commissioner of Health, Dr. Josephet Akabuike, while fielding answers to questions from journalists present said, “When a doctor is taken care of financially, he will certainly perform better”.
He was full of praises for Governor Obiano, who has committed 2billion Naira in this year’s budget for health Insurance Scheme to make sure that Ndi-anambra live a healthy life.
He went further to elucidate on his principal’s intent to partner and combine primary health care agency so that it can be controlled and well-structured by government.
“We want to make sure that every political ward has a functional health care. We have already renovated 63 and we have 526 primary health centers. Our policy-line is continuity and we will not stop until we lift the health care system to the standard we want it to be”. Dr. Josephet Akabuike said.