Ex-minister Calls for Unity in the Health Sector

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Martins Ifijeh

Former Minister of Health, Professor Eyitayo Lambo, has called for inter professional collaboration among health workers, as this will aid the development of the sector for the benefit of Nigerians.

He described the present situation in which various professions in the sector want to emerge winner as ‘beauty contest’, adding that this was unhealthy for the nation and the sector as well.

Speaking during a symposium organised by the Nigerian Academy of Pharmacy in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, tagged ‘Health of the Nation: The Imperative of Inter professional Collaboration’, he said such contests stifle opportunities of collaboration, constitute significant barriers and most importantly impacts on the health of patients negatively.

The ex-minister who served the nation between 2004 and 2007 said, “the way forward is to have a broad participation of multiple stakeholders, who would accept and then impress a change management process on the various professionals, because inter professional collaboration is a new course. Healthcare professionals should celebrate their differences,” he said.

While stating that the constant change in the leadership of the federal Ministry of Health has been leading to policy somersault, he said the lack of defined roles and responsibilities of the various healthcare actors by legislators in the three levels of government was not also helping matters.

“Another thing is that we have a weak public-private partnership in the health sector. 60 per cent of health contribution is from the private sector, and 64 per cent funding is also from the private sector. That is why the two sectors have to form partnership to make things work better,” he said.

On his part, the President, PSN, Mr. Ahmed Yakasai said cordial professional relationship in the sector is the life blood of a good and successful healthcare system, adding that, even if a country possess quality health building and facilities, if there is rancour between the players, there is no way healthcare delivery will be good.