Sam Oluwalana, Ibadan
A consultant and trainer in emotional intelligence, Mr. Isaac Onoja has accused Nigerian Doctors of selfishness and being the source of the crisis rocking the health sector.
Mr. Onoja added that the doctors who are the leaders of the health sector are constantly involved in the selfish pursuits at the expense of other health workers, which has only left the sector worst for it.
Onoja made the point while delivering a lecture titled “Emotional Intelligence in The Healthcare Delivery”, at the Paul Hendrickse Hall, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan. The event was the opening ceremony of the 2017 Health Week of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), UCH branch, Ibadan.
According to the guest lecturer, the case whereby medical doctors lord themselves over other medical health workers has led to a situation that had over the years made other professionals not giving their best in the interest of the patient.
He said: “The problem in the health sector is the problem of leadership and the doctors are supposed to be leaders in the healthcare delivery system but once the leader is not able to lead well it is a big problem. Leadership is not lordship, leadership is that somebody has found his voice and is helping others to find theirs.
“The moment you lord it over people, you don’t get the best out of them. Like Herbert Einstein will say, the significant challenges we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. When these problems were created, many of them (medical doctors) were not even there but it was handed down from one generation to the other.”
The pharmacist, however, called for synergy, emotional intelligence and empathy among all health workers if the sector must be revived to give quality healthcare service delivery to the patients
“So the way out is to activate the emotional intelligence. What you need, the other person needs, what the doctor needs, the pharmacists need, what the pharmacists need the medical lab scientists need. So let everyone come together, let them put their hands together and work together to be able to have a healthcare system that will be able to deliver quality and deliver a result to the people.
“We will keep having these problems until we are able to activate emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is defined as blending thinking and feeling. Why are the doctors so afraid? They have fear, fear of what? That they will not be respected again? No, there is no scarcity of respect. Everybody has its own track, let everybody stay on their track. The doctor on its track, the pharmacists on its track, nurses on its track, the medical lab scientists on its track, the physiotherapist on its track and we will be able to achieve a functional healthcare system that will make the patients the kings that they are. We will be able to help them and everyone will now grow together and we will be able to have a happy society”, he added
In his goodwill message, NUAHP National President, Dr. Ogbonna the topic is apt because it is to focus on one of the issues that is causing crisis in the health sector and profer solutions in the interest of the patients.
He said: “The topic is very relevant, unique and apt at this moment. Emotion is very vital in whatever decisions, actions and inactions that we take and currently in Nigeria, we are going through some tensions including economic recession, environmental degredations, security issues and tempers are rising, so we have emotional issues and when there are emotional issues, it affects our productivity, it affects our efficiency.
“Looking into the health sector, we have lots of disjointed activities, medical tourism and in-house fighting among the professionals. What is responsible for it, we looked at it from the angle of emotional intelligence. If we are balance emotionally, some of the actions or inactions we take wouldn’t have been taken or would bet taken, so that is why the theme is apt this moment in time. There is the need for us to work as a team and we have discovered that there is a disconnect and that there is an emotional problem where some group of persons in the healthcare team thinks that they are lords over others, not knowing that we work as a body, we work together as a team and each person is very important. By the time we start to respect one another then we all will contribute meaningfully to that patient, who is our principal.”
NUAHP UCH branch Chairman, Comrade Olusegun Sotiloye, said “the seminar is our way of showcasing ourselves as medical practitioners because most people only know about medical practitioners popularly called doctors and nurses when you go for healthcare in the hospital but the idea is that there are so many other professionals that are involved in the system, the physiotherapist, the radiographers, medical labouratory scientists, operational therapist, dieticians, medical physicist and so many others. Without all these people there can never be quality healthcare. So, organizing this programme is just a way of celebrating ourselves and letting the world know the other professionals that work behind the scenes to render quality service to the public”