Minister of State (Health), Dr. Osagie Ehanire, yesterday lamented the inter-professional rivalry in the health sector in the country , and declared that the situation was already“hurting the quest for quality service’’.
He said “Inter-professional rivalry in the hospitals gets worse every day; this affects the health delivery chain and is certainly hurting our quest for effective health care delivery,’’ Ehanire said in Jos.
The minister was speaking at a ceremony organised by the Federal School of Medical Laboratory, Jos, to commission projects at its permanent site, induct graduands and matriculate new intakes.
He said that professionals in the health sector were colleagues that were mutually dependent, hence the need to work together and support each towards excellence.
“We are not rivals; we are colleagues and must always be together.
“If we fight, the patients will suffer. Healthcare delivery will suffer, and everyone will suffer.
“I want to call for a change in this regard; I want to also emphasise the need for every professional to respect the other and never see any health worker as inferior,’’ he said.
The minister challenged the health professionals to de-emphasise personal gains and be more committed to empathy since their calling was a divine one to help God’s creatures.
Ehanire lamented the paucity of funds and its effects on the school and the health sector in general, but pointed out that the situation was a challenge the nation must face squarely.
He traced the situation to the general collapse in the oil industry, pointing out that its prices, production, revenue and sales have dropped.
The minister also decried Nigeria’s obsession with imported items, saying that the situation had affected local producers, forcing many industries to fold up.
“Not long ago, I was told that the country spends an average of 500 million dollars daily to import rice; we cannot grow as a nation if we continued to depend on rice importation instead of producing,’’ he said.
He said that Nigerians must strive to feed the nation and create jobs to minimise the current situation where able-bodied youths were begging on the streets.
“Personally, people send messages to beg for money, food and other basics. That situation will not be there if there are jobs that will make them self-sufficient,’’ he said.
He said that government was opening up more industries so that more people would be employed, and urged youths to work harder, make more sacrifices and be positive toward a better and more prosperous Nigeria.
Enahire emphasised the need for prudent use of available resources, with transparency as the watchword.
“We must avoid wastes; there is no room for that. We cannot afford that luxury,’’ he said.
The health minister challenged the graduands to be proud of their calling as laboratory officers, stressing that their profession was key to health surveillance and the checking of deadly diseases like Ebola, Lassa Fever, HIV/AIDs, among others.
In his speech, Dr. Sunday Etukudoh, the Provost of the School, said that the school, established in 1958, was still awaiting the passage of a bill for an Act establishing it.
“The enactment of the Act will strengthen the capacity to enhance national and international collaborations and educational exchange programme with accredited institutions in the world,’’ he explained.
He said that the legal framework would also empower the school to access TETFUND funds for infrastructural development.
He regretted that the school had remained on a temporary site for 62 years, and declared that its situation was the worst in the country as no institution had ever remained that long at a temporary abode.
The Provost further said that the quest to move to the permanent site had become even more necessary because the Plateau government, owners of the temporary site, had given a quit notice since 2013.
Etukudoh called for more urgent support towards building hostels, an assembly hall and a school auditorium, as well as the provision of electricity and water to facilitate the movement to the permanent site.
“We want to move in the second week of November and shall require intervention funds from the Plateau and federal governments to make that possible,’’ he said.
Our correspondent reports that 26 graduands were inducted into the profession, while 70 new intakes were matriculated into the institution.