The Nigerian health system will achieve better results if the relationship among the various practitioners is based on trust, mutual respect and shared goals, the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) has said.
President of the NSP, Taiwo Oyewumi, who stated this while speaking on behalf of the Society at a recent media parley held at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Lagos, also urged President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure there was equity and fair play in the Nigeria health sector, to achieve the much desired all-inclusive growth and development.
While condemning the industrial action recently embarked on by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), noting that it was wrongly timed, considering the mournful mood of the nation, the NSP boss commended the president for setting up the Presidential Committee on Industrial Harmony in the Health Sector.
Oyewumi equally flayed the opposition of medical doctors to hospital administration being handled by other qualified health professionals, adding that such stance would not promote harmony in the health sector.
He noted that the current global trend stipulates that all clinical staff with prerequisite administrative qualification among physiotherapists, pharmacists, physicians, medical laboratory scientists and othersare allowed to vie for administrative positions in the health sector, since they are not clinical posts.
In his words, “The NSP recommends that the office of the Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health be made open to all qualified and competent health professionals, including physiotherapists… The Minister of Health and Minister of State for Health should always come from different professional backgrounds, for the sake of equity, checks and balances.”
The NSP boss also expressed displeasure with the NMA for saying that specialists in other specialisation-driven health professions should not be paid specialist allowance. This, he said, was unfair.
“NMA should instead be canvassing for standardisation in professionalism and specialisation, instead of attempting to stop what is good for others. NMA should move away from ‘stone-age’ thinking and mentality and embrace global trend,” he urged.
Oyewumi also faulted the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH)’s decision to make provisions for the training of resident doctors and paying the fees of their update courses and examination from the budget of the tertiary health institutions, while doing nothing for the development and growth of other professions and professionals.
He consequently asked the FMOH to take over the funding of the resident physiotherapy programme of the National Postgraduate Physiotherapy College of Nigeria.