Use professional channels to address medical negligence, malpractice — NMA


The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has appealed to the public to utilise established professional channels and institutions in addressing their concerns on medical negligence and malpractice.

Dr Adetunji Adenekan, Lagos State NMA Chairman, made the appeal on Sunday in Lagos.

Adenekan said this during the NMA Leadership Retreat which started on Sunday in Lagos.

The retreat was themed: “The 21st Century Medical and Dental Practitioners: Leadership, Opportunities and Threats.”

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Adenekan asserted that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) had the mandate to investigate and resolve such concerns and not the consumer protection agency.

“The door of the association is also open for complaints about her members,” he said.

The NMA chairman noted that the increase in clinical governance related matters in the country, especially Lagos, called for due diligence and observance of professionalism as they engaged in the duty of care.

“There is a need for us to understand that 21st century medical practice requires us to give optimal care with standard of care in mind as always.

“We cannot afford to let loose our professional guard while empathy is key and should not be lost on us,” Adenekan said.

On the issue of insecurity and healthcare, Adenekan noted that both issues were intertwined.

According to him, regardless of the strength of the healthcare system, there cannot be effective, efficient and equitable healthcare delivery in an atmosphere of insecurity.

“The insecurity in the country starting from Boko Haram insurgency has led to reduced access and quality of healthcare services, especially in the North Eastern part of the country.

“Many have lost their lives and those that are lucky now live in internal displaced persons camps with overcrowding, poor sanitation, food and shelter shortage, malnutrition from starvation and lack of access to basic healthcare.

“Banditry and kidnapping have been on the rise, extending to all parts of the country with increasing tension in the South West, including Lagos.

“Many members of NMA have been kidnapped all over the country and obviously no end for now,” he said.

Adenekan stressed that the current state of insecurity called  for government at all levels to be more proactive, adding that medical and dental practitioners should be security conscious.

Besides, Adenekan noted that the increasing assault of doctors and other healthcare workers in the line of their duty by patients and their relatives was worrisome.

The chairman concurred that the cause of the incidents might be multifactorial, however, said that the system could not  be governed by lawlessness.

“Healthcare professionals are citizens and must be protected in the course of carrying out their legitimate duties,” he said.

Adenekan added that the retreat was essential to ensure the capacity building of medical professionals to meet with  emerging challenges of a changing world.

Also, Prof. Wole Atoyebi, Past President of NMA, advised that leaders of the association should ensure inclusiveness in all its activities and systems.

Atoyebi also advised that rancour should be avoided, electoral process should not be divisive, adding that rotation of association leadership should be within major groups in the state.

He added that the rotation leadership must start immediately and should be enshrined in the association’s rules and regulations. (NAN)

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