By Juliet Umeh
As medicine continues to change at an unprecedented pace, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola has said that healthcare professionals, particularly, medical doctors need to embrace Information and Communication, Technology, ICT, to deliver topnotch services and maintain leadership role in the sector.
Making this assertion during a 3-day Leadership Retreat of the Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, tagged: “The 21st Century Nigerian Medical and Dental Practitioners; Leadership, Opportunities and Threats”, Ogunsola charged Nigerian doctors to up their game by embracing technology, even as she said most doctors are notoriously resistant to change.
Ogunsola, a Consultant Clinical Microbiologist, said ICT has changed the role of the doctor in terms of the doctor-patient relationship as well as the doctor and other healthcare worker- relationships.
She said any medical professional in the 21st Century who does not think technology is already irrelevant, notng that technology has democratised knowledge and no knowledge exclusively belongs to doctors.
“There was increasing professionalism and knowledge in the other professions in health as well as the administrators and that started to create tension within the healthcare workers.
“For doctors to keep that supremacy role, our knowledge base has to go up, our skills and competencies must rise because our leadership role is going to come from what we know. Technology is a major disruptor, and it’s still going to disrupt more and some of our professions might actually disappear. If we don’t wake up, we will be disadvantaged.”
The First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, noted that the challenge doctors must constantly take into cognisant and address is how to take optimal advantage of technology to improve service delivery in medical practice.
“We must embrace technology which requires total overhaul of our system and serious management to ensure proficiency in the system. We must deploy digitally enabled system and innovations in providing care, these and others should be in our minds.”
Earlier, Chairman, NMA Lagos, Dr. Adetunji Adenekan, said the theme of the programme was well thought out especially now that the sector is experiencing enormous challenges emanating from conglomerate of issues like inter and intra professional leadership related crisis, threats of all forms including brain drain.