Time to Bridge Professional Gaps

THE TIDE of time is swinging and it is now in the direction of the nation’s healthcare professionals who are gearing towards sheathing all swords of disharmony for the benefit of the sick and vulnerable in the society.

On May 11, the various professional groups in the health sector will gather at the University of Lagos to hold mutual conversation on how to close the widened gap in the industry and support the development of health of Nigerians.

Though long overdue, the wrangling among different professional groups in the county’s health sector has been seen by the civil society as the bane of the sector.

The Symposium is being jointly organized by the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy (NAP), in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and is expected to feature practitioners drawn from medicine, pharmacy, nursing and midwifery, medical laboratory sciences, physiotherapy and other medical professions as participants on deliberating on issues that have fuelled crises in the sector for several years.

Former Minister of Health, Professor Eyitayo Lambo, a Consultant Health Economist, will make a keynote presentation.

According to the President NAP and a former Secretary of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, “The dire state of healthcare in Nigeria today despite continuing efforts, requires that all professionals in the sector work in harmony to tackle the issues for the good of the country.”

Adelusi-Adeluyi however lamented that the poor state of affairs in the sector is made even worse by the animosity, distrust and consequently, disharmony among the different professionals in the health sector.

“The most vital resource in the health sector”, said Adelusi-Adeluyi, “is not the annual budgetary allocation from government, but rather, the sector’s huge human resource endowment.

“It is only by building on its strengths which include its diversity, that the health sector can become truly primed to deliver optimal value to Nigeria”, he added.

In his enthusiasm the founder and Chairman, Juli Pharmacy pointed out, “Here is a sector brimming with enthusiastic and well-trained doctors, pharmacists, nurses, medical scientists, optometrists and other cadres of professionals. If professionals in this sector would cooperate with each other and work as one united team, it would be a big plus for healthcare delivery in our country”, he noted.

Adelusi- deluyi acknowledged that the mutual animosity among health professionals is not unfounded saying, “Developments over the years had unfortunately helped to pitch the different groups of professionals against each other by perpetuating negative perceptions of each other.

“Such negative perceptions had fed fat on anger and divisive statements by the various cadres of professionals, to the detriment of Nigerians who ought to benefit from an optimally functional healthcare industry”, he said.

He observed that the forthcoming symposium is only one in a series of activities which the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy is putting together to eradicate or curtail to the barest minimum, the animosity in the health sector and fast-track the emergence of a culture of mutual trust and collaboration among the various professionals.

The project which is a pioneering effort by health experts, has been enthusiastically welcomed by different health professionals, all of whom are uncomfortable with the current state of affairs among the various professionals.

The Nigerian Medical Association, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives among others have all indicated a willingness to be part of the program.

Other speakers lined up for the Symposium include Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, a medical doctor and former president of the Guild of Medical Directors, Mr. Jimi Agbaje Pharmacist and frontline politician, Mrs. Sade Modupe Jokotola a veteran nurse as well as Professor Agbonlahor a seasoned Medical Laboratory Scientist while Assistant Editor, Guardian Newspaper, Chukwuma Muanya will represent the Media at the event.

Founded in 2014, the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy is one of six specialist academies in Nigeria, the others being the academies of Letters, Arts, Science, Engineering and Education respectively.

It would be recalled that for several decades, the various professionals in the medical profession have always engaged in battles of supremacy which has often been injurious to the patients as well as continued to weaken the health system thus contributing to the annual poor health indices of the nation.

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