12 February 2013

Nigeria: Doctors Cautioned Over Unethical Private Practice

Kaduna — The commissioner for health in Kaduna state, Turaki Kalik has caution doctors on the issue of private practice where a lot of doctors abandon their place of primary assignment to work in their personal hospitals.

Speaking in an interview during the validation of corporate planning for the state ministry of health, Kalik pointed out that professionalism, which is the first out of the five core values of the ministry does not condone laxity and abandonment of primary assignment.

"Every profession is guided by ethics, the Nigeria Medical and Dental Council is aware that right from the era of former president of Nigeria, Ibrahim Babangida when doctors were exempted from the issue of private practice, the council as a result issued ethics to guide private practice, so the ministry is set to ensure that people adhere to the ethics of private practice,"

The permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr. Paul Manya Dogo who spoke on behalf of the commissioner noted that doctors are allowed to do their private practice but that there are certain criteria like attaining certain minimum years before engaging in such practice.

He also emphasized that no doctor is allowed while working with government to own a hospital where he admits patients and manage them.

"It is not allowed, he can go in his own private time on out-patient basis, so we are regulating this through the agency for private health establishment committee because we have a law that regulates private practice in the state, so that is how corporate planning will help us to address the issue of private practice where people will abandon their primary place of assignment and go to their private establishment."

On the issue of insufficient drugs at government hospital, he noted that government has decided to establish a drug management agency, which will address the issue of provision of adequate quantity of drugs, distribution of the drugs to all health facilities.

"In the future, we want not only public health facilities but also private health facilities to go to the drug management agency of Kaduna State to procure their drugs and that is why we want to link up directly with manufacturers whom we are in the process of pre-qualifying so that we can have genuine drugs but we are going to have them at affordable prices so that we can distribute them. We have the supply chain that we are working on, we are going to establish zonal stores that will feed all the local government areas," he explained.

In terms of infrastructure, he noted that government has not stopped having more hospitals. "When Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) moved to Zaria, it gave birth to a General Hospital, Rigasa; General Hospital, Kawo and General Hospital, Sabon Tasha. There are more and more primary health centers that have been built,"

"Today we have more than 1,100 primary health care centres while government established a primary health care agency to address all issues regarding health care at the primary health care level, which is supposed to cater about 80% of the population," he said.

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