Steve Unegbu ,Umuahia
Governor of Abia state ,Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has unveiled the design of the secretariat of Nigerian Medical Association Abia State chapter with a promise to assist them realize the project.
Speaking after unveiling the structural design of the secretariat at Michael Okpara Auditorium ,during the opening ceremony of the Physician’s week ,2019, the Governor ,who was represented by the secretary to the state government ,Barrister Chris Ezem ,disclosed that Governor Ikpeazu being a health friendly governor will partner with NMA to enhance the promotion of health care services in the state .
He applauded NMA for carefully choosing a thought provoking theme ,’ Care of the unknown patient ‘ saying the need to save life is very important ,which makes it necessary for relevant agencies to set up funds that will be used to foot the bills for treating unknown patient.
He lamented the high rate of suicide cases in Nigeria among the youths ,urging that pressures of life should not compel anyone to resort to suicide.
In her address, the chairman of Nigerian Medical Association Abia state chapter, Dr Mrs Carol Iwuoha ,said ” this year’s Physician’s week is poised to address an area of care where we have observed policy gaps as we believe that the life of every Nigerian is important including those who fall victims of road traffic accidents ,severe memory loss and indeed health conditions that results in inability to identify a patient ”
She applauded the Abia state government on the flag off of the Abia state social Health Insurance scheme ,saying that it will go along way to addressing the health needs of the people and for other support given to the association
She hinted that ,while an unknown patient should not be denied care at any health facility, the issue of remuneration for the service rendered could be a source of concern,noting that this underscores the need for provision of an emergency fund through which health facilities that care for these victims could be reimbursed .
In his lectures ,Dr Okwuonu Chimezie ,the chairman of Umuahia NMA zonal office, harped on the need to do a lot of review on policies on health care delivery ,pointing out that there has to be outstanding policies to accommodate unknown patient ,noting that NMA Abia state is keying into the health insurance scheme launched by the state government.
He revealed that Abia doctors have achieved a lot in the area of kidney transplantation ,disclosing that out of the 6 patients that are evaluated for transplanting ,5 were transplanted ,adding that the kidney transplant unit has about 9 patients waiting on the list.
He however lamented the high cost of kidney transplantation, pointing out the the surgery takes about 7.7 million Naira .
Presenting his speech, the keynote speaker,Dr Golden Owhonda ,described the unknown patient as one whose identity can not be ascertained at the time of handing over to doctor.
He argued that despite the unknown identity of such patient ,doctors must act in the best interest of the patient ,maintaining that the patient must be given the best health care services available.
He called for the establishment of a decision making team in hospitals to handle the issue of unknown patient, while urging religious bodies to support the hospitals in such situation, saying this underscores the importance of hospital chapels ,even as he appealed to the general public to always carry their identity cards for easy identification and encourage the medical stakeholders to embark on more of public education on the unknown patient issue.
In his speech, the Abia state House of Assembly committee chairman on health matters ,Hon Stanley Nwabisi ,reassured the public of the commitment of the 7th Abia state House of Assembly to continue to give and support policies that will enhance quality health care delivery.
Earlier in his opening remark ,the chairman of the occasion ,professor Gregory Ibe ,who was Represented by Dr Ochu Ogwo ,noted that being a doctor is a serious business ,because it involves saving lives .
He called on the health stakeholders to focus on evolving policies and programs that will help to develop the health sector.
For a better society