Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence has appealed to healthcare professionals to put aside all challenges, whether work related or personal and offer to patients the best of their services.
Volda Lawrence, Minister of Public Health, delivering the feature address on day two of the first quarter Regional Health Officers’ Meeting 2017
Minister Lawrence was at the time addressing Regional Health Officers (RHOs) at the Ministry’s Quarterly, RHOs Meeting at the Regency Suites, Hadfield Street.
The Minister observed that, “Generally, our doctors, nurses and caregivers too need to raise the level of patient care service they offer. Too often, we hear of the callous way in which our patients are treated, the long delays, the rude way in which clients are addressed; (and just last evening, another minister was asking me to address that issue) surely that oath did not state treating your patient with disdain.”
The Minister urged that health care professionals to carry out some introspection to determine whether they are acting inappropriately while discharging their duties.
The Minister explained that proper management of human resources at all levels in the regions is necessary and important. The department of Regional Health Services (RHS) was commissioned to craft an efficient work plan and system to ensure that these health professionals are treated humanely.
Additionally, the Ministry of Public Health has recognised that there is hardly any compliance from deployed professionals to complete their contracted stint. Minister Lawrence said that a review of the stipulated conditions for stints in far- flung areas will see more commitment from deployed staff.
“I imagine there is always reluctance to leave the coast to sojourn in the remote and hinterland regions, but the system of rotation has to be well mapped out and executed so that there is transparency, and the stint does not hint of victimisation or reproof. Our customers in the hinterland are deserving of the best primary healthcare, and we must be prepared to make that sacrifice and make it accessible for them,” Minister Lawrence added.
One of the challenges continually highlighted by health officers is the unavailability of requisite doctors and staff at health centres, and district and regional hospitals. The Ministry of Public Health is however, working towards deploying specialist doctors and General Medical Officers into hinterland regions by the end this month.
Meanwhile, RHOs lobbied for capacity building exercises for those within the regions who are willing to work and provide services to residents.