…AS NIGERIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION R/S MARKS 58TH AGM
President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji has made a case to encourage hospitals to evolve in a different direction that will see them become far more involved as business hubs, orchestrating a wide range of medical and non-medical social services, according to him, a new innovation in hospital business that will combine the Patient-Hotel concept with caregiving to promote medical tourism in the state has become necessary to promote business and stimulate the local economy to attract medical tourism among others.
The PHCCIMA helmsman was speaking as the chairman of occasion at the 58thAnnual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Rivers State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) held at the NMA Secretariat in Port Harcourt.
He commended the Rivers State Branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) for their discipline and professional conduct. He said the theme of the conference; “Healthcare Delivery in Rivers State, a situation analysis” was apt, as it would provide an avenue to address critical issues in the health sector.
Dr Otaji, who was a former commissioner of health in Rivers State called for proper funding, better security and improved welfare packages for medical practitioners to carry out their duties effectively.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike in his remark as special guest of honour noted that the huge investment of Rivers State Government in the health sector is targeted at providing quality health care delivery and making Rivers State, Nigeria’s medical hub.
The commissioner disclosed this while speaking with newsmen during the ongoing Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Rivers State branch of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Port Harcourt.
The commissioner stated that the establishment of a medical school at the Rivers State University, upgrading of the Braithwaite Memorial Hospital to a Teaching Hospital, building of the Mother and Child Hospital and the construction of modern general hospital in the local government areas, would enhance health care in the state.
He commended the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) for their contributions to the development of the health sector in Rivers State and assured the partnership of the Rivers State government with the body in effective healthcare delivery.
Earlier in his welcome address, the outgoing chairman of the Rivers State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr. Datonye D Alasia, restated the commitment of medical practitioners in Rivers State towards quality service delivery.
He commended the Rivers State government over its investments in the health sector and called for the implementation of the health insurance policy in the state.
The chairman also decried the growing spate of insecurity which medical doctors were exposed to and advocated for a conducive practicing environment for doctors in Rivers State.
The NMA AGM and Scientific Conference also featured a Panel Discussion on “The Environment and Health: Confronting Challenges in a Sustainable Way” where resource persons from diverse organizations held wide consensus on the need to stop the sooth ravaging the atmosphere of the state. According to one of the panelist, Eugene Abels, the initiator of “End The Soot Campaign”, a social environmental advocacy group, described as criminal the continuous silence of the Nigerian medical association who should ordinarily lead the campaign by highlighting the dangers and effects to the public. He said the mass of ‘impure’ carbon particles resulting from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons in our atmosphere is a menace we will live to regret after. Soot according to him do not just cause human damage but also ecological damage leading to least of all financial loss and most of all hunger and health deficiency. He said infants and children who are still very tender and sick adults with weak immune system stand the greatest risk of being killed by complications from soot and called for the declaration of emergency even as his group has petitioned the World Health Organization for keeping silence over the menace.