The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says inter-professional rivalry in the health sector is hurting the quest for quality health care services in Nigeria.
The minister made the assertion on Tuesday at the Federal School of Medical Laboratory, Jos where he inaugurated new projects, inducted some graduands and matriculated others.
“Inter-professional rivalry in the hospitals gets worse every day; this affects the health delivery chain and is certainly hurting our quest for effective health care delivery,” Ehanire said.
The minister stressed that all professionals in the health sector were mutually dependent, as such they must learn to work together, support and respect each other.
“We are not rivals; we are colleagues and must always be together.
“If we fight, the patients will suffer, healthcare delivery will suffer, and everyone will suffer.
“I want to call for a change in this regard; I want to also emphasise the need for every professional to respect the other and never see any health worker as inferior,” he said.
The minister challenged the health professionals to de-emphasise personal gains in the discharge of their duties, saying that their job was a divine call to serve humanity.
Ehanire said that although paucity of funds was affecting service delivery, it was a challenge all public servants must face squarely.
He attributed the problem to the general drop in oil prices, production, revenue.
The minister decried Nigeria’s obsession with imported items, saying that the situation had affected local producers, forcing many industries to fold up.
“Not long ago, I was told that the country pends an average of 500 million dollars daily to import rice; we cannot grow as a nation if we continue to depend on rice importation instead of producing,” he said.
He said that Nigerians must strive to feed themselves by producing the food they require, stressing that this would create jobs and reduce destitution in the country.
“Personally, people send messages to beg for money, food and other basics. That situation will not be there if there are jobs that will make them self-sufficient,” he said.
He said that government was opening up more industries so that more people would be employed, and urged youths to work harder, make more sacrifices and be positive toward a better and more prosperous Nigeria.
Enahire emphasised the need for prudent use of available resources, with transparency as the watchword.
“We must avoid wastes; there is no room for that. We cannot afford that luxury,” he said.
The health minister challenged the graduands be proud of their calling as laboratory officers, stressing that their profession was key to health surveillance and tracking deadly diseases like Ebola and Lassa Fever.
In his speech, Dr Sunday Etukudoh, the Provost of the School, said that the school, established in 1958, was still awaiting the passage of the bill for an Act establishing it.
“The enactment of the Act will strengthen the capacity to enhance national and international collaborations and educational exchange programmes with accredited institutions in the world,” he explained.
He said that the legal framework would also empower the school to access money from TETFUND for infrastructure development.
He regretted that the school had remained on a temporary site for 62 years, adding that Plateau Government, owners of the temporary site, had given it notice to quit since 2013.
Etukudoh, therefore, called for more urgent support to construct hostels, an assembly hall and a school auditorium, as well as provide electricity and water to the permanent site.
“We want to move in the second week of November and shall require intervention funds from the Plateau and federal governments to make that possible,” he said.
The 26 graduands were inducted into the profession, while 70 new intakes were matriculated.