By Omolara Omosanya
The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Federal Medical Centre, Ebute Metta Chapter, Lagos, has called for conducive working environment, improved remuneration and personnel welfare.
The Chairman, MDCAN FMC Chapter, Dr Emeka Ibezi made the call in Lagos, during the first meeting of the association, with the theme: ”Thriving as a Professional in the Current Environment”.
Ibezi said that addressing the above mentioned issues, among others were parts of measures needed to check brain drain of medical practitioners in the country.
According to him, a lot of doctors, health workers, consultants leave the country on a daily basis, which is not a good development.
”The truth is that it is a global phenomenon, but we have the issue on the increase in this clime right now, on daily basis, lots of doctors, health workers, Consultants leave this country, decision makers, those in authority should realize that the work environment is paramount, you can build hospitals, you can build institutions, but the people who also work in that institutions in fact, they are more portamt than the institutions, when you operate as a surgeon, you are not sure of light, you have to consider the electricity in fixing your surgery dates, this and that and a lot more, it’s not the best, now if these are addressed, it will check the exodus of health workers, doctors in particular,’ he said.
Ibezi, who is a Consultant, Oral/Maxillofacial Surgeon therefore, urged the concerned authorities to ensure that the relevant resources like stable power supply, modern equipment required for the delivery of quality healthcare are in place.
He also called on the government to look into the remuneration of the professionals, even the hazard allowance, as these were reasons whu many of the medical experts migrate from the country.
The chairman said that the meeting was convened for the more than fifty Consultants at the FMC, Ebute Metta to discuss on ways to cope with the current environment in the country, to enable them to keep delivering services, in tandem with global practices.
In a remark, the Medical Director of FMC, Ebute Metta, Dr Adedamola Dada said that the practice of medicine was evolving from the previous mantra where the doctor, especially the consultant was all-knowing and therefore could not be challenged.
Dada urged the medical practitioners to be abreast, to meet the need of today’s patients.
He said that it was also important that medicine professionals showed empathy, understanding, knowledge, confidence and sensitivity to the peculiar needs of the patients at all time.
”We must train ourselves to understand, accept and practise this new shift in our daily relationship with our patients. As Consultants, we should lead this process because it may be the way for the practice of our profession in this particular generation.
”Every generation would define itself. If we fail to conform with the requirements of the time and remain stuck in the gone-by times, and fail to develop these new skills of practice, I am afraid it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to practice medicine or indeed any other profession,” Dada said.
Delivering a lecture on how to manage one’s mental health in uncertainties, a Consultant Psychiatrist and Therapist, Dr Kafayah Ogunsola urged the medical experts to prioritize their mental well being.
Ogunsola said that life itself is filled with a lot of stressors like ill health, life events, that one did not see coming, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, financial troubles, economic problems, and other challenges in Nigeria.
”Whilst all of this is going on, one has to pay attention to the self care like affirming yourself, the ability to breathe, understanding the things within your control, focusing on the things that are within your control, finding healthy distractions, like knitting, like drawing, painting, the ability to delegate.
”It is about prioritizing. It’s about preserving yourself rather than sacrificing yourself, the ability to say no, sometimes learn to say no, don’t always be the ”yes man” that everybody leaves all the responsibilities to and then you are beginning to cave on that pressure,” she said.
The event afforded the Medical experts to let their hair down and unwind amidst their often tight schedule and also to plan on how to move the Union forward.