NMA Wants to Work with PSN – NMA president

  • Says doctors and pharmacists must resolve issues causing distrust among health workers

The leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is desirous of working with the leadership of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) to resolve all issues causing distrust among health workers and ensure all health professionals are happy to work together in harmony, Dr Francis Faduyile, president, NMA, has said.

Dr Faduyile who led a strong delegation of NMA leadership on a courtesy visit to PSN office in Lagos on Wednesday thanked the PSN leadership for receiving the group noting that he is keen to follow in the footstep of his predecessor, Prof. Mike Ogirima, who had a good relationship with the PSN and the PSN president.

NMA visit
L-R: Pharm. Emeka Duru, PSN national secretary; Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, chairman, PSN Interprofessional Committee; Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, president, PSN; and Dr Francis Faduyile, president, NMA, at the meeting.

The NMA helmsman said that he decided to visit the PSN leadership because he is eager to find ways to resolve all issues causing interprofessional rivalry among health workers in Nigeria, disclosing that he decided to work with pharmacists to achieve this goal because he was told by his predecessor that he had a friend in the PSN president and in pharmacists.

Dr Faduyile said even though there are strong reasons for distrust from all health workers, it is now imperative to look into all the issues causing disharmony and resolve them to enable all health workers work together and serve the  patient better.

The NMA boss said while the main issue causing disharmony is remuneration of health workers because of the difficulty to agree on a relativity that is acceptable to everybody, he strongly believes that by embracing dialogue, it is possible to agree on a template that everybody will be happy with.

NMA visits
A cross section of delegates at the meeting

He also noted that contentious issues of titles and nomenclatures of health workers can equally be resolved by sharing information that can help clear the distrust surrounding them, adding that titles of health workers actually have no impact on the patient.

Dr Faduyile stated further that even though the Yayale Ahmed Committee report may not be 100 per cent favourable to all health workers, it may be necessary to adopt it as the starting point of discussion to resolve the contentious issues causing rivalry.

The NMA president, while pledging his commitment to work with the PSN leadership to resolve issues causing disharmony, noted that by working together, leaders of health professions can make the NHIS concept work better and also compel the government to implement the National Health Act properly.

He disclosed that the new NMA leadership will in the next few weeks set up an interprofessional committee that will work with the PSN Interprofessional Committee to resolve all the issues causing disharmony.

Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, president, PSN, in his remarks, said even though he is sad about all the problems going on despite all his efforts to promote interprofessional collaboration, he is ready to work with the new NMA president because he is a man of integrity who will not speak from both sides of the mouth.

Pharm. Yakasai said there is need for mutual trust and respect among all workers to make the health sector better, adding that he believes that it is possible to work together with other health professionals once the desire is to find ways to serve the patient better.

The PSN helmsman stated that the desire for consultancy status by pharmacists is not to take over the work of doctors in hospitals but to further help improve patient treatment outcome, adding that pharmacists are acquiring specialist knowledge that can help deliver better result.

On how to go about resolving the contentious issues causing disharmony, Pharm Yakasai said it is necessary to have a checklist of the issues from all sides, adding that the interprofessional committees of the NMA and PSN can now meet and work on the checklist with a view to resolving the issues and agree on the way forward.

Pharm. Yakasai also told Dr Francis to ask NMA members that instituted the court case against the decision of Lagos State government to grant pharmacy consultancy to withdraw the suit, to douse tension and encourage dialogue.

Also speaking during the NMA courtesy visit, Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, chairman, PSN Interprofessional Committee said he is happy that the NMA leadership is keen to work with other health workers to ensure harmony in the health sector.

Pharm. Atueyi noted that health professionals must embrace the new trend in healthcare delivery globally because it is a positive development, adding that better understanding of current realities in healthcare delivery, especially the changing roles of other health workers will help in resolving most of the contentious issues.