The Chief Medical Director, (CMD) of the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Professor Azubuike Onyebuchi, has appealed to the Federal Government to resolve the issues and concerns that led to the current strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in order to restore sanity to government-owned hospitals and clinics across the country.
According to him, all the issues bothering on the welfare of doctors, both the residents and consultants, if resolved amicably, will engender good working environment that will ensure that patients get unstrained access to medical services in the government controlled hospitals.
Fielding questions from journalists in Umuahia on Sunday, Onyebuchi contended that the provision of quality medi-care is after all the primary reason doctors were employed in hospitals.
“All we said here alluded to what has been happening to all of us today, and I stand here to encourage and plead to the Federal Government to resolve all the issues bothering on the welfare of doctors, both the residents and consultants, so that we can have good working environment to provide services to patients, which is the primary reason why we are in the hospitals”, he added.
Onyebuchi therefore appealed to Joint Health Sectors Union (JOHESU) not to embark on its own strike action, saying that strike actions are not what the health system requires at this point “when the nation is battling with the third wave of COVID-19”.
Earlier at a four-day biennial general meeting and scientific conference of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), FMC Umuahia chapter, the Chief Medical Director said doctors on their own must play their role as critical health workers in order to enhance quick delivery of health services to their patients.
On the conference, he declared, “This is the first time I am seeing MDCAN of any hospital organise what looks like an inaugural lecture, which only happens in universities where professors come to prophesy what they have done to deserve to be professors.
On the accreditation of some Medical departments in FMC, Professor Onyebuchi advised the consultants in the hospital to get involved in their various societies and be known in Nigeria and globally, warning against playing in the local league alone
He expressed displeasure that during a recent accreditation in FMC, the Chairman of the Faculty complained that he did not know any of the consultants in the hospital, and urged them to please get involved as the leaders in the health institution.
“Get involved, attend conferences, present papers, so that when they are talking about FMC Umuahia, they will spot somebody in that place that is their person, which I did as a consultant and it brought me to lime light to the extent that everybody, even in Sokoto knows him”.
Onyebuchi promised to ensure that doctors have a good environment to work with, stating that his aim is to accredit every department before the expiration of his tenure as Chief Medical Director.
In his opening remarks through his representative Professor Uwakwe, Vice Chancellor of Gregory University, the Chairman of the occasion, Professor Gregory Iyke Ibe said that he recognises Medical Consultants as front line professionals in healthcare delivery system, pointing out that their roles cannot be underestimated.
According to him, consultants should be given due recognition especially now that the world is besieged with all kinds of disease vectors that are defying medical attention.
“We need the services of medical consultants to wade into the situation and see what could be done, as there is every need for Government to give due recognition to such bodies of Medical attendants consultants Association of Nigeria, who have the key, experience and wherewithal in terms of knowledge and research to confront whatever needs to be confronted”, he said.
The Special Guest of honor and speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Chinedu Enyinnaya Orji, who declared the conference open congratulated the members of the association for choosing a befitting theme for the event and described it as appropriate and timely.
In a key note address, Professor Benjamin S. Chudi Uzochukwu warned that if Nigerians did not change their attitude with intention to stamping out the menace of COVID-19, there may be another outbreak of the pandemic.
He emphasised on the need to secure healthcare to avoid being vulnerable to the pandemic and other deadly diseases.
Speaking at the event, both the Local Organizing Committee Chairman, Dr Kalu Ulu Kalu, and the Chairman of the Association, Dr Godswill Ogbonnaya Uko, described the role of doctors as essential, asking the government to provide them with conducive atmosphere to perform their duties optimally.
Dignitaries at the occasion included: Mrs Franca Ekwueme, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, State Director of DSS, Controller of the State Correctional Centre, and the Commissioner of Police, Abia State command, CP Janet Agbade who was represented.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.