The President of the Nigeria Medical Association, Prof Adedayo Faduyile, has said that Nigerians will begin to trust medical services provided in the country if doctors, nurses and other health workers decide to work together for the good of the health sector.

Faduyile said this when he led the NMA executive on a courtesy call on the leadership of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives in Abuja. He said the health sector would remain stagnant unless all the major stakeholders acted as one team.

Faduyile regretted that the conflict between the two bodies and other health workers’ unions had affected the health care delivery system in the country over the past years.

Stressing that it was time for all the stakeholders to change their negotiation tactics and work together for the good of Nigerian patients, he said, “We need to improve on the management and care of our patients in this country. But when major stakeholders in the health sectors are in constant clashes, certainly we will work against the good of the patients. With what has happened over the years in Nigeria, it has been difficult for us to give our patients the effective and efficient health care services that they need.

“No one has perfect immunity against illness, but when doctors and nurses are not working or cooperating with themselves, the patients will be the ultimate losers.

“Some time ago, the leadership of the NMA paid a courtesy visit to the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria. We agreed to end the rivalry existing between both bodies and work together. It is unfortunate that the NMA is perceived as a bully by other health workers unions. Maybe we have done this and maybe we have to change tactics and get ourselves integrated into a heath team. This is what we are exploring.”

In his response, the NANNM President, Abdrafiu Adeniji, said it was sad that foreign health professionals were profiting from the clashes between health workers unions in the country by taking over the responsibility of treating Nigerians, thereby creating an avenue for capital flight.

He said, “The tool that will get us to a functional level of health system is harmony and cordial relationship between all health workers. With crack between us, foreign health care providers are making a fortune out of Nigeria by picking our patients and treating them abroad. Capital flight and medical tourism will stop when Nigerian doctors and nurses work together. Together we can approach government and present our needs.”

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