National President of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Dr. Iyke Odo, has described as over ambitious and a travesty of normality the call in some quarters for uniformity in the remuneration of doctors and other health workers in the public health sector.
Dr. Odo, who spoke in Asaba during this year’s World Family Doctors’ Day celebration, said elsewhere in the world, doctors’ pay are significantly ahead, with the rest of the health team having their pay derived relative to the doctors.
“The time has come for us to embrace this common truth for the sanity of the health sector. JOHESU should be willing to demand for a realistic remuneration for its members that will predicate on a more realistic pay for doctors but certainly not parity,” he said.
While appealing to the striking health workers to sheath their swords, Dr. Odo opined that all professional care givers have generally been shortchanged by the Nigerian system through poor pay packages.
“I share the pains and agony of our team mates in the health sector to the extent that the very poor remunerations to healthcare professionals in the country generally allows. The system has shortchanged all of us.
“It will be very credible, laudable and understandable to call for better conditions of service but the call for parity with doctors is not only over ambitious but a travesty of normality,” Odo posited.
Odo explained that family doctors are spectacular group of doctors, adding that they are the most essential doctors in the society providing the most essential daily healthcare needs to the highest number in the population being available to all without regards to age, sex, tribe, tongue or religion.
“They are the longest serving and the longest staying doctors in the live of people. This group of doctors welcomes people into the world and guides them out of it when the time comes. They are from the cradle to the grave doctors. They provide comprehensive and continuous care for all. They are the leaders of the medical team,” he stated.
In 2010, the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) declared May 19 every year as World Family Doctors’ Day.
This year’s celebration with the theme: ‘Family Doctors – Leading the Way to Better Health’ also featured the launch of the KompleteCare mobile app across the country by the Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON) in partnership with Sevenz Healthcare.
The app, it was gathered, enables patients gain access to certified medical professionals through video and audio consultation.