Two medical practitioners on Friday identified training, funding and research as vital instruments for the advancement and sustainability of medical profession.
They said in Lagos that adequate funding, research and training would go a long way to improve the medical profession, enhance quality of service delivery, help the patients and the society at large.
Speaking, the Senior Registrar, Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Yaba, Dr Nworie McEdwards, said that training was a veritable tool for professionalism.
McEdwards decried the low level of training and research among medical practitioners, calling for a change in the narrative because they remained the major ways to improve on healthcare service delivery and grow the profession.
He identified lack of quality care being delivered by the healthcare professionals as a huge challenge to the nation’s health system.
He, therefore, said that healthcare practitioners needed to update their knowledge by regular appraisal and validation.
“Well equipped and funded trainings should be designed and made available for the health practitioners to continually advance in skills and knowledge about the profession.
“In the UK for example, there is a continuous process to keep all practitioners updated and you need to have a goal every year that is set as Personal Development Plan (PDP).
“This plan feeds into your Continuous Medical Examination points as you gather your points around your plan.
He said that such points are also validated by reflective learning; hence, you are constantly learning and setting goals around areas that you need to learn.
“This is grossly deficient in the Nigerian health system.
“I truly believe that if our regulators can look closely at this, it will help in the outcome of the quality of care we deliver,” he said.
Contributing, Dr Patrick Omogbohun, Medical Director, MercyWay Medical Centre, Ejigbo, Lagos, said that motivation and specialisation were key to effective healthcare delivery.
Omogbohun said that there was need for an increase in the motivational packages for medical professionals, while sustaining the existing ones.
“When people are not being motivated; they are deprived and not being treated well. There are chances that they may not put-in their best to the job and can even search for better working environment elsewhere to operate.
“Availability of well defined career pathways and end-points as opposed to what is present with improved welfare package like indemnity/insurance, health insurance and opportunities for advancement are some of the motivational packages to retain health professionals,’’ he said.
Omogbohun added that without specialisation, patients would not get the quality services they required for improved healthcare delivery.
He said, “We need more specialised professionals in the health sector as this will not only improve quality of healthcare services, but also improve lives of the patients.
“Specialisation is essential in healthcare service delivery. Let health practitioners be trained to be specialists in various categories of health management’’.
He recommended an increase in the national budgetary allocation to the health sector and proper auditing of finances and programmes within the sector for improved performance.