Chief Medical Director, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Professor Bissallah Ekele says the future is bright for medical practice and healthcare delivery in the country. Prof. Ekele stated this in a Guest Lecture delivered at the Third induction ceremony by the College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja for Forty – three newly graduated medical doctors of the University.
In the paper titled “Public Perception of Medical Practice in Nigeria: Time to Change the Narratives,” Prof. Ekele said that the time to change the negative narrative about medical practice and healthcare delivery in Nigeria was now. He identified poor attitude to work by health workers, rivalry among professionals, poor infrastructure and insufficient funding of healthcare services as some of the key challenges confronting medical practice and healthcare delivery and said the narratives must change through greater commitment to work, honesty and humility. The Chief Medical Director who is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology said the perception on public health institution as bad, incompetent, mere consulting clinics and avenue to divert patients to private hospitals which were more expensive and therefore unaffordable were a huge minus for medical practice and healthcare delivery in the country. Prof. Ekele said that the present scenario notwithstanding, “good medical practice in Nigeria is possible given the enabling environment,” and the way forward was for professionals to see themselves as a team and not as rivals in the industry, and for medical practitioners to uphold the ethics of medical practice and the Hippocratic oath. While advocating for the introduction of the equivalent of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund for the health sector, Prof. Ekele said government should also be seen to be honouring agreements with unions as a way of ensuring industrial harmony in the sector.
In a message to the occasion, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. Michael Adikwu who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Alawa, charged the new doctors to always remain worthy ambassadors of the University. He said the University currently ranked as the ninth best universities in the country by the National Universities Commission rating and called for the support of stakeholders in making the University the pride of the nation. Earlier, the Provost of the College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja, Prof. Ekundayo Garba said this third set of inductees marked the end of undue delay in medical training in the University of Abuja.