Experts Decry Lack of Empathy among Healthcare Workers


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A Medical Practitioner, Dr. Femi Ogunremi, has expressed worry over lack of empathy among healthcare providers in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer, Monitor Healthcare Ltd., a medical communication technology company, raised the concern via a zoom meeting held on Saturday in Lagos, stressing that healthcare workers should embody empathy in the discharge of their duties.

Dr. Ogunremi said the issue became pronounced in his mind when he went to care for his sick uncle.

“The way I was attended to, people not knowing that I am a doctor, even when they got to know, the way they acted and reacted was quite frightening.

“I feel that attitude also hinges on the quality of care that they will be delivering,” he said.

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The medical practitioner said one of the ways to deal with the problem was for health workers to make conscious efforts to be aware that empathy has a significant role to play in service outcomes.

He said that awareness campaigns would go a long way to enlighten healthcare providers on requisite skills to improve service delivery.

“We can improve quality if more health personnel understand how empathy can impact the results that we get. It will go a long way. Also, a lot of soft skill training; taking the skills to workplaces, and enlightening other workers would help.

“Again, we need to do a lot of advocacy so that the caregivers can understand where empathy is positioned amid the care that we are offering,” Dr. Ogunremi said.

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Also, speaking, Dr. Ibrahim Yusuf, said healthcare workers need to be deliberate and self-motivated to get to a higher level of connection with patients.

The medical practitioner, who is the health manager at Shell Nigeria, said, “The ability for those workers to be able to put empathy as part of what they do is where the issue is. Hospital workers are also Nigerians. Every one of us is confronted with the same social issue.

“I am at work now and I am attending to people who are unfortunate to have been afflicted with illnesses. And then, I need to be deliberate about showing empathy here so that they can get well.”

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