Conflicts among professionals in the health sector is set to take centre stage when the Nigerian Medical Association convenes its first-ever national health summit this month in Asaba.
Separate groups of professionals in health care have been pitted against one another over leadership roles and duties ascribed to them--a major problem that has stalled the National Health Bill for more than a decade, sparked protests by coalitions of health workers, and prompted series of strikes.
NMA president Dr Osahon Enabulele said the summit would be "an avenue for all healthcare providers to drive a more harmonious relationship within the health sector."
He said fresh perspectives from health professionals home and abroad could help resolve "conflicts and contradictions" and restore inter-professional harmony in the sector.
The association admitted there were "several gaps" in the sector traceable to problems that have inhibited how the sector is supposed to grow.
Enabulele said health required "constructive and transparent support" by all stakeholders.
"We can no longer afford to lament the ills and uninspiring statistics of the health sector," he noted, adding the medical establishment wanted to make its own contribution toward greater improvements in the practice of healthcare.
The summit will also consider health-related legislation, as well as how health institutions run clinical governance, management and leadership.
Both Senate president David Mark and health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu will be at the summit, but it is not clear what other health groups will be present.
An umbrella union of four separate health worker groups during its protest last December cited the bill for bias in favour of doctors, a position the NMA has refuted.