By Dr Paul John,Port Harcourt,firstname.lastname@example.org,08083658038
Below is the well articulated and reverberating opening remark by Prof Mike Ogirima,the indefatigable president of the Nigerian Medical Association ( NMA) ,on the occasion of the Doctors’ Timeout Family (DTOF)’s 2nd anniversary held at various locations nationwide on 15th June 2017………….
I am pleased to be asked to make an opening remark on the second anniversary of the creation of this DTOF platform.
The theme of the second anniversary; Doctors as Heads of Tertiary Health Institutions in Nigeria-Problems and Prospects could, be discussed in the context of the assessment of our various colleagues who have occupied leadership positions in the health sector in the past, present and hopefully in future.
The administration of the tertiary health institutions in Nigeria has been legally ceded to the medical practitioners by the university teaching hospital act.
The application of this law hitherto was hierarchical and at the discretion of C in C. Management of all the centres was better before the partial democratization of the procedure for the appointment of the CMD/MDs. However Stakeholders are not involved in the monitoring and evaluation of the tenure of d CEOs, neither are they involved in the discipline of the CEOs. These are coupled with the fact that there are few cases of gross corruption, arrogance, high handedness and recklessness in our leaders. The added quest for renewal for second tenure brought in desperate actions and misbehavior by some of the CMDs/MDs.
The leaders are appointed without regards to experience, maturity and popularity among the entire staff in the hospitals.
There are few cases of nepotism demonstrated in the processes of appointments. Rumors had it that there are exchanges of sums/or promise of juicy contracts to the godfathers of the would be CMDs/MDs.
The new trend of agitation by the paramedics/JOHESU has worsened the pressure on our leaders to perform while in office. We must not allow this to degenerate to civil unrest in the system.
The future is bright if far reaching steps are taken to protect our leadership roles.
We must lead by good example.
Internal discipline of our colleagues must be seen in action.
We must therefore build up trust among ourselves and beyond our boundary.
An all inclusive management protocol must be seen in all our institutions.
The doctor should develop a team approach in the management of our resources where the patient is the focus of our cohabitation.
We should develop the spirit of collective bargain among the different professionals within the health sector.
We can build up our capacities to equip us for the leadership role. Some knowledge of management is needed in our curriculum at different levels of training.
Our colleagues should be involved in the search, screening, appointment and discipline of would-be leaders.
A process of removal of any under-performing leaders must be set up and utilized.
I advise that leaders should have the experience and maturity to lead. There should be a match of age with the office. We should wait for our turn just as it is done in the legal and military systems.
These non medical systems have demonstrated some discipline and stability.
The so called veterans must develop a veterans’ or elders’ platform where policies and pieces of advice are incubated and given to our young ones as a way of mentoring the future leaders.
The idea of having some crowned veterans permanently with younger ones should not be encouraged because of corruption of ideas of the young ones by the veterans. The younger colleagues should be allowed to brainstorm among their peers while such ideas so developed can be subjected to critical review before implementation.
I can go on and on, but let me stop at this stage to receive comments and questions.
I congratulate the leadership of this platform for their dedication, respect for authorities and seniors in the profession. The ideas generated here have helped me and my team to implement THE BRIDGE AGENDA.