Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan, has urged all healthcare professionals to work together to provide quality patient care.

Rivalry: All healthcare groups remain single entity —UCH CMD
Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), University College Hospital (UCH)

Otegbayo, who spoke on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the 2019 International Nurses’ Week on Monday in Ibadan,  insisted that all healthcare professional groups form a single entity.

NAN reports that the week-long programme organised by the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has the tagline: “Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Health for All.”

Otegbayo, responding to questions on unhealthy interprofessional rivalry in the healthcare sector, said: “Nurses are the largest workforce in healthcare services and their services are so unique and crucial to healthcare delivery because they are the closest to the patients.

” They see their waking moments, don’t joke with our nurses.

“The institution under this administration recognises the importance of all the professions in providing quality patient care and we are a single entity and that is the message we promote as an administration.

“To foster a healthy relationship, the hospital organises programmes and activities involving all the professional groups for not only academic and professional interactions but also social interactions and when we all work together as one, it will positively affect patient care and give us job satisfaction.”

Otegbayo, however, urged the nurses to be committed to their responsibility as “guardians of patient”.

“We are appealing to the nurses not see the patients as just number or mere names but as humans who have been placed in their care by God.

“All nurses should believe that what they are doing is a calling because they work with the highest creation of God,” he said.

In his address, the key speaker, Prof. Joseph Aina called on the Federal Government to include all healthcare professional groups in leadership positions and tertiary hospital management.

Aina, a professor of nursing at Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, said that having greater involvement of all groups in decision making and healthcare governance would solve the problem of rivalry and also improve healthcare delivery.

“The person in charge of the Ministry of health is a medical doctor; the one in charge of the hospital is a medical doctor even though the number of doctors is minute compared to the number of nurses and nurses are the closest to the people.

“For every Nigerian to have access to good quality healthcare we must include every healthcare professional group in leadership.

“When nurses have a seat at the table and a voice in decision making we can find lasting solutions to the many crises bedeviling the health sector,” he said.

Mrs. Ronke Bello, the Chairman of NANNM, UCH Chapter, said that quackery in the nation’s health sector had become a menace negatively affecting guaranteed health for all citizens.

Bello also called on the government to address the problem of overworked nurses in public health institutions through recruitment exercises.

“Quackery is a major challenge and a great limitation on achieving health for all.

“Government must come up with a policy to reduce the impact of quackery to the barest minimum.

“It is an undiluted truth that Nigerian nurses are overworked. While the nurse-patient ratio as recommended is 1:2, the existing structure in the country puts the ratio at 1:10 and above many institutions.

“The ugly situation has made many nurses develop job-related health complications which sometimes lead to permanent disabilities,” she said.

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