By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
In a bid to improve the relationship among healthcare professionals, the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria has organized a symposium with the theme: ‘Health of the Nation – The Imperative of Interprofessional Collaboration’.
According to briefing notes made available to Editors, emphasis at the symposium was aimed at checking inter-professional rivalry in the health sector, which has become so divisive and unhealthy, and also made it impossible for healthcare professionals to deliver excellent value to Nigerians in need of their services, it has become imperative to stem this anomaly in the sector.
In his remarks at the event, Engr. Vincent Maduka suggested two approaches to tackling the subject of interprofessional collaboration.
“The first would be to increase incentives as it’s done in the United States – nurses, doctors, pharmacists are very well paid. These incentives might be in monetary terms or in terms of sheer regard and respect for people. With an increase, I think that all stakeholders in the sector would feel proud of themselves.
“Secondly, we should also look at sanctions for failure. If every death, every error in healthcare are visited with investigation, and possible sanctions are meted out, there would be a good deal more esprit d corp among the various healthcare professionals. A doctor who knows that there is a big risk of getting his license revoked or pay huge fines would do well to collaborate with other team members,” he affirmed.
In his contributions, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi said that some of the brightest minds in this country are in the health sector, but wondered why effectiveness and efficiency is not being recorded.
“Yet in the last few years, the efficiency and effectiveness of public health delivery has suffered steady decline and this partly as a result of the unhealthy rivalry among various professionals in the health sector. From a historical standpoint, this situation didn’t start today. Look at the Hanzard of February 1961, it quotes the first minister of health, Dr. Adekoyejo Majekodunmi, as saying that the budget is okay but he prays that there would be funding in time and that there would be cooperation among those working in the health sector.
“This symposium has been long in waiting to be held. It doesn’t matter who has organized it. What is important is that we have a very comprehensive representation of all the members of the health sector present. It is time to disappoint those who have profited from the disharmony among healthcare professionals. Unless we all come together and negotiate with humility and with a sense of accommodation, the distractions will continue. It is my belief that this landmark occasion would not be in vain,” he expressed.
For Pharmacist Ahmed Yakassai, the culture of healthcare has for long encouraged solo acts.
“I would like to reiterate the fact that as healthcare professionals, we need to work together as brothers and sisters to ensure that our patients get the best quality care and treatment that can be provided. The culture of healthcare has long emphasized solo acts, we cannot continue like this if the patients’ interest is paramount. Research has shown that interprofessional collaboration improves the quality of care and patient satisfaction leading to a better work environment overall.
“This would require a systemic change in practice, effective and open communication, professional trust, and a system of coordinated care that allows patients to be part of the decision making in relation to their care. Adopting this team based culture of mutual respect and understanding is possible and very necessary as we all have a moral obligation towards the welfare of the patient. I believe that together we are better and we are stronger,” he submitted.
Former Minister of Health, Professor Eyitayo Lambo delivered the keynote presentation at the event which was chaired by Former President, Nigeria Academy of Engineering, Engr. Vincent Maduka.
Other health care professionals who presented paper during the panel discussions include: Asst Director of Nursing Services, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, (LASUTH), Mrs. Shode Modupe Jokotola; Chairman, Jaykay Pharmacy Ltd, Pharm. Jimi Agbaje; MD, Lahor Research Laboratories and Medical Centre, Prof. Dennis Agbonlahor; Assistant Editor, Guardian Newspapers, Chukwuma Muanya and Group Medical.
Director, Reddington Hospital, Dr Olutunde Lalude who represented Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, a medical doctor and former president of the Guild of Medical Directors.
Some dignitaries present at the occasion include: Director, Food & Drug Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Pharm. (Mrs) Gloria Modupe Chukwumah, who represented the Minister of Health, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai; Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Rahamon Ade Bello; Chief Medical Director of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Prof. Christopher Bode, President, Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), Dr. Omede Idris, President, Healthcare Providers’ Association Of Nigeria (HCPAN), Dr Umar Sanda, General Secretary, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, Prof. Fola Tayo amongst others.
The Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy, a specialist academy with a primary focus on promoting health and pharmaceutical research was founded in 2014.
The Academy’s President, is a Former Minister of Health and Chairman, Juli Plc, the first indigenously promoted company in Nigeria to be quoted on The Nigeria Stock Exchange, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi.
Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy Moves To Promote Interprofessional Collaboration
By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja