19 September 2017

Nigeria: 90 Percent Deaths in Hospitals Caused By Health Workers' Attitude - Teaching Hospital Chief

Over 90 per cent of deaths recorded in Nigerian hospitals are due to poor attitude of health workers.

Thomas Agan, the Chief Medical Director (CMD), University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), said this during an interaction with journalists on Tuesday in Calabar.

He said some health workers were not taking the lives of patients seriously, in spite of their professional training and work ethics.

"Over 90 per cent of deaths in our hospitals are due to our attitude," Mr. Agan, who doubles as the Chairman, Committee of Chief Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Hospitals in Nigeria, said.

"Until the healthcare givers in our hospitals begin to realise that the health of the patient he/she is handling could be his own, his wife or siblings and all that, things will not go well.

"Until we realise that we would be held accountable to every challenge we create, things will not go down well," he said.

While decrying the frequent crises in the health sector, the CMD said that the health sector was supposed to be a place of succour, not only to the rich, but to ordinary Nigerians.

He attributed incessant strikes in the health sector to disagreements and professional rivalry among the various unions, adding that at the end, it is the Nigerian people that are suffering and dying.

"It is unfortunate that the health sector has been characterised with strike actions over the years. For me, welfare issues are necessary in life, but incessant welfare requests from the healthcare providers tend to undermine the sector itself.

"I feel really pained that the situation has not been adequately taken care of by both staff and the government. And each time any union declares industrial dispute, you cannot quantify the number of people that usually lost their lives.

"Our oath, for instance, says we should preserve life from conception to death. This means that the life that is entrusted into your hands must be preserved.

"I am happy that the strike by resident doctors has been suspended. I have never believed in using strike to solve problems and I will never subscribe to strike in its entirety," Mr. Agan said.


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