Buhari calls for improvement in attitude of health sector to work

Minister of Health, Ehanire and others during the commissioning of the projects at the hospital

By Adejoke Adeleye/ Abeokuta

President Mohammadu Buhari has identified unfriendly attitude of some workers in the health sector as one of the reasons why many prominent Nigerians seek medical care out the country.

The President spoke during the official commissioning of an International Conference Centre, Telemedicine Hall and six other projects at the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Abeokuta, Ogun State on Monday.

Represented by the Minister for Health,  Dr Osagie Ehanire, he lamented that the unfriendly attitude of health workers towards patients have been pushing many citizens to seek medical care outside the country.

He, however, emphasised the need for continuous training and retraining of health workers to deliver quality health care services to Nigerians.

He said, “We still get all too often for comfort, disconcerting reports of not friendly attitudes of staff to patients, reports of unhygienic and housekeeping standards that leaves something to be desired even in the presence of sophisticated equipment and well qualified doctors.

“Such simple failings like these, are more frequently responsible for the loss of confidence of the end users in our health system than even the lack of equipment.

“They are the triggers for the distrust that will lead people to go on medical tourism.

“We have a lot of work to do in that area and I want to believe that the managers of our hospitals after such laudable, fantastic infrastructure investment we now begin to pay attention, not only to improving staff harmony and welfare, but to retraining health care givers for even better professionalism that deliver service in a productive and courteous atmosphere based on the lessons we learnt from our traditional African hospitality”.

Also speaking, the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan noted that, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had given the Federal government the opportunity to provide additional resources, particularly for infrastructure that will enable Nigeria address outbreak of pandemics in the future.

Lawan who was represented by the Chairman of Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, disclosed that, the Federal government is building 10 bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) centres, 30 bed isolation centres and well equipped, functional molecular laboratories in every of the 52 Federal Medical Centres (FMCs) in Nigeria.

He assured that the bill on the establishment of Ogun State university of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Abeokuta would be passed by the National Assembly before the end of April.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in his speech said, the projects were evidences of the fulfillment of promises made by the government and signified the continued progress of the FMC.

“It is the cardinal responsibility to ensure the welfare and the wellbeing of the people. Providing access to quality health care services that our people can afford is one way we serve their best interest”, Gbajabiamila said.

Speaking on the projects, the Medical Director of FMC, Prof. Adewale Musa-Olomu said the centre is the first in the country to have a telemedicine hall.

He said the centre has successfully performed more than 300 brain tumor surgeries since ithe establishment of the neurosurgical and cardiothoracic units.

Musa-Olomu expressed the optimism that, the hospital would be upgraded to a teaching hospital with the establishment of the university of Medicine and Medical Sciences.

Governor Dapo Abiodun in his address, assured the centre of the continuous support of his administration.

Other dignitaries at the event included: former governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo and Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora.