Leaders of the Nigerian Medical Association and the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria have agreed to put an end to the conflict between both organisations and to work together for the benefit of the health sector.
The bodies made this decision during a meeting held on Wednesday at the Pharmacy House in Lagos.
The President of the NMA, Dr. Francis Faduyile, pledged to work “harmoniously” with the PSN President, Ahmed Yakasi, foster development in the health sector.
He said, “The health system in Nigeria cannot move forward if we continue to work in disharmony. It is important for the leaders of both parties to look inwards and plan for the benefit of the patients.
“Over the years we have had many issues that caused a lot of distrust among us. If this continues, it will begin to affect us the same way that it has affected the patients.”
Faduyile noted that the issues between the two parties had shifted focus from the challenges facing the sector, especially in the area of allocation of funds and the issue of specialisation.
“The Federal Government promised a minimum of 15 per cent to fund the health sector, but we have received only 3.8 per cent this year,” he added.
In the area of specialisation, Faduyile urged both parties to come together to discuss the introduction of PharmD and consultant pharmacist, which seems to enable pharmacists perform some roles designated to doctors.
“The National Health Insurance Scheme is a platform that we could use to straighten issues in health institutions in the country. If we work harmoniously, both pharmacists and doctors can get the best out of their trade,” he said.
On his part, the President, Yakasai, said the health sector, which he described as “broken and fragmented” due to selfish reasons, needed an inter-professional collaboration urgently.
He said, “We have taken the oath, but we do not abide by it and this is the problem of every society. This issue is not just about welfare, but it is also about serving humanity.”
Yakasai added that inter-professional collaboration was the only way to have quality health care delivery and success in the health sector. He said the foundation must be on mutual respect, trust and collective action.
Some of the pharmacists and doctors that attended included the National Chairman, AHAPN, Kingsley Amibor, and the National Secretary of the PSN, Duru Emeka.
Both organisations also agreed to appoint committees that would create a checklist to resolve the problem and sustain the collaboration, with a view to improving health care delivery in the country.