Medical Personnel in UCTH Warned against Private Practice

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Bassey Inyang in Calabar

Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Professor Thomas Agan, has warned medical personnel employed by the hospital to desist from engaging in private medical practice outside.

Agan, gave the warning yesterday during an interview session with journalists in his office at the hospital in Calabar, Cross River State.

Agan also commended the federal government for starting the process that will stop doctors in public service from engaging in private practice, saying the move was ‘a welcome development’.

“The law that established the medical practice says that you are free to engage in private practice in as much as it does not interfere with your official duties.

“Generally speaking, as consultants, if you run a hospital, it means that you admit patients like we do in federal hospitals. But when you have a private practice, it also means that you admit patients.

“This move should not only end with doctors but should be extended to scientists who open private laboratories as well as pharmacists and physiotherapists
“We have been educating our patients that whoever takes them to their private clinic and promise them the best; they should report such a person to us.
“An individual cannot serve two masters at a time. You either give your best to the public sector or to your private establishment,” Agan said.

The CMD said anyone caught in such practices would be reported to the federal government and appropriate sanction will be given to him or her.

Describing the attitude and conduct of some health personnel towards their patients as unprofessional, Agan said healthcare providers should place premium on the well-being of their patients.

However, he complained that the cost of procuring electricity was high due to high tariff from the power supply company, appealed to the Federal government to take up the funding of power supply of tertiary hospitals.

“The issue of power is not peculiar to UCTH alone but it is a national challenge. The power supply is so epileptic and we have to utilise backup power which is generators
“One of the solutions to this problem is for federal government to fund power supply to the health sector centrally.

“If this is done, we will witness improvement in service delivery as well as training and research. This will translate to improvement in good health for the people and improvement in the nation’s economy,” he said.