To reverse medical tourism in Nigeria, and build a 21st century health system, certain things need to be done, amended or removed from the present health system and service delivery, experts have advised.
A consultant physician and geriatrician at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Ogugua Osi-Ogbu said there is need to build standard health care facilities, address poor attitude of health workers, protect patient confidence, and overcome the ego associated with travelling abroad to receive care.
She said others include having a multi-disciplinary approach to care, strengthening the primary health care system and strengthening interpersonal transfers.
Dr Osi-Ogbu called on the management of public and private hospitals to continue in service training on the issue of attitude inorder to remind people of the culture of their healthcare facility.
“We need to keep working on the attitude of health care workers because it is key. Health workers should see patients coming to them as a privilege and opportunity to provide services for them. When faced with clients, treat them with respect. Don’t treat them like they are burdening you,” she advised.
Dr. Ibrahim Wada, founder of Nisa Premier Hospital said the hospital was able to carve a niche for itself through serious investments in the training of its staff , acquisition of latest medical equipment and partnership with Nigerians in diaspora as well as quality of care.
He said: “There is no need to say Nigeria cannot do it. We can. I returned home from abroad, formed a team saying we can, and we have been able to do it,” he said.
Dr Chris Otabor, Chief Executive Officer of Alliance Hospital , and a consultant orthopedic surgeon, said to build professionalism in line with the 21st century of care, health workers should have good inter-personal skills with patients and fellow health workers, show compassion to those suffering pain, submit to volunteer work, and have an awareness of social issues where medical profession can be relevant .
He said they should play responsible roles in the society and have responsible attitude to the environment, and good employment practice to mention a few.
He advised health workers to avoid unprofessional behavior and acquire the necessary knowledge and technical skills as well as ethical values.
Chief Mrs Moji Makanjuola, a veteran journalist and founder of the International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH) Moji Makanjuola, said the media is a strategic partner in ensuring quality health service delivery in the country. She stressed the need for social responsibility roles from media organisations where public health is concerned rather than placing priority on only commercialized news and programmes.
She called for trainings for journalists in the area of health care and not just in mass communications saying that the information and enlightenment the public requires from health experts and organisations are channeled and simplified by the media.
Chief executive officer of Prompt Health, Ikey Okoye said the conference was organised to enlighten Nigerians because education is key.
By: Ojoma Akor & Amina Hussaini Kana
Daily Trust News
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