Hello, am Mike O. Ogirima, a Professor of Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgery at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria. I am running for the office of the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the upcoming Annual Delegate Meeting and General Conference.
For my full profile, visit HERE
You are welcome to ask me any question by posting it in the comment section below. I will do my best to answer your questions on Wednesday, 16th March 2016 at 2pm.
Dear Prof. Ogirima, let me first thank you for taking time out to be on Meet The Guru.
1. Nigerians were estimated to have spent about $1 billion in 2014 on Medical tourism. One of the areas where a significant part of the money went to is the treatment of Orthopaedic cases. This incidentally is your area of specialty.
In your view what are the factors promoting medical tourism and what steps can and should be taken to reduce it?
2. The budget presented by the President of the Federal Repuplic of Nigeria to the National Assembly allocated 221.7 billion naira to the health sector. This represents about 4% of the budget.
Beyond the clamour for additional resources to the health sector, if elected, will the NMA under you have a role in ensuring the efficient and judicious use of allocated resources? If yes, How?
Some factors responsible include the poor working condition (paucity of equipment and facilities), corruption within the government circles, and lack of awareness/illiteracy of the populace as well as attitude of the elite class.
In most countries where health is very well developed, there is a more private sector participation than government and the possible cost burden of this on the populace is on the other hand cushioned by Health insurance schemes.
We believe there is need for a deliberate health intervention policy including but not limited to low interest credit facility for health industries, import duty waivers for health care equipment, special tax regimes on tobacco, alcohol, GSM calls etc dedicated to improving public health facilities and PPP. This will lead to the emergence of Mega hospitals that can compete positively with the foreign hospitals. In order to cushion the effect that this might have on health access and pricing for Nigerians, government driven- health insurance scheme that is compulsory for every Nigerians and that will cover most of the health needs is key. NMA under my leadership will raise a strong advocacy team for both purposes.
We shall also re-orientate Nigerians’ attitude towards indigenous health care service-professionals and facilities. In as much as we now advocate patronage of local goods, we also need such campaigns in the area of health care. Perhaps an annual health/hospitals’ exhibition may be helpful to showcase the range of care that can be achieved in the country and NMA will champion this cause if given the mandate.
We will also strengthen our clinical governance system that will guarantee quality assurance, clinical and strategic effectiveness and patient involvement in healthcare decision-making.
The government is already doing a lot on corruption and NMA under my leadership shall collaborate with the government.
The NMA under our collective leadership shall be a watchdog on the judicious use of resources in our hospitals and Ministries of Health. This we intend to do by independently monitoring the use of the resources allocated to each of the teaching hospitals and the ministries. We shall set-up an internal mechanism within the NMA to investigate and call to other any chief executive that is found wanting.
Sir, how will you address the constantly seemingly dichotomy of interests between the two member associations ARD and MDCAN? There are few issues whose benefits stop at the residents, yet ARD has to fight is battles alone and come off as an unregulated bunch of hooligans under your care?
This dichotomy is not just between ARD/MDCAN, it exists between Govt/Private Doctors, Federal/State/LG doctors.
NMA under my watch shall make it a duty to protect the most vulnerable among us. These are: the house-officers, the residents, the state and local government doctors and the doctors in private sectors. We would pursue the welfare of every doctor in a just, fair and equitable manner. We would fend for every group and affiliates within the NMA and by so doing, the affiliates within NMA would develop trust in the NMA leadership and would naturally surrender their agitations to NMA to pursue. We need to lunch a program of welfare package that will benefit all.
In NBA a lot of welfare packages exist to take care of the young barristers.
Doctors must love themselves-this is the Oath!
Confidence will gradually return.
How do u plan to harmonize the medical profession. Especially as regards reducing the excesses of medical directors that has lead to current clamor by some for non doctors as chief medical directors?
The gulf between laboratory scientists and pathologist is widening every day. What are your plans to create a harmonious relationship between them?
Harmony develops when people feel that they are treated justly and equitably. NMA under my leadership shall ensure that everyone is treated fairly. We shall make everyone subject to the leadership of NMA and administer punishment and reward without fear or favour. NMA needs committed, focused and courageous leadership. NMA under my leadership shall not fail to call on erring chief executives to order.
On the short term, we shall follow-up on the various resolutions from conferences and the Mahmoud Yayale committee’s reports, which have proffered solutions to most of the problems bedeviling the health sector. We shall look into the reasons for the non-emergence of white paper from Mahmoud Yayale’s report and follow it up with a strong lobbying to bring out the white paper. We shall also be pro-active in tackling the issues of professional rivalry. NMA under my watch shall seek the advice of our lawyers and be party to any suite instituted by any party against the medical profession in a bid to earn right of appeal in the event that the verdict goes against the profession.
Concerning the pathologist and the medical laboratory scientists, our long term strategy is to develop intermediate/middle cadre medical doctors through our postgraduate colleges to forestall the numerical advantage that the scientists have over us.
We shall also make decisive efforts at also solving the perennial problems in the following areas:
1) Crises of spaces for training House officers
2) Residency training program
3) Onslaught on medical profession by the Paramedical professionals
4) Medical training curriculum harmonisation viz MDCN vs NUC,
5) The role of CMDs in the NMA and its interests
6) Principle of Reward and Punishment in the NMA
7) Financial accountability and Sustainability in the NMA.
These thematic areas must have measurable action points and end points by the end of the first NEC.
NMA shall also advocate for job description and limitation by various professionals in the health industry in collaboration with National Council on Establishment.
Prof Ogirima, I know you are the right man for this job. When you come in, do all you can to genuinely resolve the unnecessary, lingering, and nauseating inter-professional rivalry amongst Health workers in Nigeria.
Thank you sir. I promise to do my best through collective bidding.
1. The attempt made by the MDCN to carry out online registration of Nigerian medical doctors has been appalling. I bet less than 25% of us have been able to do so. What measures will Prof Ogirima put in place if elected to rectify and make online registration of Nigerian medical doctors easy and prompt.
2. What measures will Prof Ogirima take to make it possible for fast and prompt delivery of permanent practicing license after application? There are lots of doctors who have applied for it even over 5years ago a d it's said not to be ready yet.
MDCN should continue the computerisation process while decentralising it such that zonal offices are also fully computerized and networked to the central data base to ensure they can update data autonomously.
We should also insist as NMA to get the full benefit and value of the newly increased lincensing fee.
Professor Ogirima. The NMA is a great organization that has been cast adrift and direction less. If elected how will you get every single doctor on board and steer us out of troubled waters. Only a genuinely strong NMA can roar like a lion and bite like a crocodile....if necessary. Finally, the NMA needs a strong leader so what qualifies you for the national presidents office?
The amendment of the NMA constitution is receiving attention now and I am sure the new document will encourage every doctor to play his/her role in the scheme of affairs in NMA.
Every doctor’s voice shall be heard and listened to and a progressive direction shall be given based on cumulative decision.
My leadership in NMA shall be guided by focus, experience and maturity in the administration of professionals. We have risen through the cadres of leadership in various professional groups(ARD, MDCAN, NMA and NOA). Presently I am running my second term as the President of Nigerian Orthopaedic Association.
Prof. sir, am happy you are contesting for this post. You are the right person. How can you actualize the existence of surgeon general in Nigeria?
We shall continue to mount pressure on this issue knowing fully that the Alhaji Yayale Ahmed’s report is still lying fallow somewhere within the executive arm of government. NMA shall advocate for a government white paper on this report.
My Oga at the top . NMA had been a reactionary body. What steps do you intend to take to make us more proactive. Most of the problems we face now as a body is because we don't have a workable action plan that must be followed through irrespective of the obstacles. What would be your action plans ( short, medium and long term)? I wish you the best
Shortly; We shall implement progressive resolutions passed by the outgoing NOC/NEC/ADM.
Medium term: Once constituted into office, the NOC shall be made fully functional to draw up budget, action plan, and administrative structures to plan for the first NEC.
Long term: The programmes once approved by NEC shall focus on:
a. Crises of spaces for training House officers-MDCN/NMA should set up a task force to ensure spaces and payments are made available centrally, in the immediate to alleviate suffering of graduate doctors for House job
b. Residency training program-this should be centrally coordinated and products from the programme are distributed evenly to needy states with attractive conditions of service..
c. Onslaught on medical profession by the Paramedical professionals
d. Medical training curriculum and harmonisation between MDCN vs NUC,
e. The role of CMDs in the NMA and their interests
f. Principle of Reward and Punishment in the NMA and medical practice in Nigeria.
g. Financial accountability and Sustainability in the NMA.
NMA during our time, shall be a Moving Train that beckons us all to board.
There is no time for loafing around and No single day shall be wasted.
The medical profession has lost so much and we must do much more to restore its dignity within the shortest possible time.
Am so happy that you're now a prof and a presidential hopeful of NMA. Having thought me so many years ago I still have good memories of you sir. Why is it that orthopaedic surgeons are usually huge in size? Do you advice a slim female doc to be one? Secondly, what will you do differently when elected?
In those days you may need enormous strength to reduce fractures and dislocations but presently with technological advancement orthopaedic practice has been made Easy! All our female orthopaedic surgeons in Nigeria now are slim.
I will bring in a lot of innovations with experience and maturity. The Secretariat of NMA shall be functional 24/7. Diplomacy shall be the guiding principle! Welfare of my Collegues shall be paramount, our pact with government shall be robust so that the populace shall once again enjoy holistically professional service at its best.
Sir, What will you do differently in improving the standard of practice in our hospitals vis -a-vis provisions of modern equipments?
Strong advocacy on promoting PPP and competition by the private medical practioners. We shall advocate for single digit interest rates for medical industry and encourage multispecialty hospital complexes.
I am of the opinion that the frequent 'strikes' that have been called by various cadres of medical groups in the past, including the NMA, have contributed to the problems facing the Nigerian healthcare system today as well as the low regard the public and other stakeholders currently have for doctors. Do you have any plans to reduce or eliminate strike action and instead embrace other innovative ways of engaging the government and other stakeholders in the health sector?
Strike is a legitimate right of all workers and doctors are workers.
Because doctors uniquely take care of lives and wellbeing that is why their welfare stands utmost as clearly stipulated in the physicians oath.. 'may they enjoy the good things of life.'
I will be above board to ensure the balance of this as NMA president.
Thanks for this opportunity. My question is “How do you intend to resolve the issues of the Laboratory scientist being in control of the laboratory and refusing to work according to the international standards.”
We shall encourage medical doctors to patronize reports coming from clinical pathologists and refuse to attend to reports emanating from roadside laboratory technicians and scientists. The Doctor is an all-rounder in medical industry. The patient would have to choose between a physician and someone trying to imitate physicians.
MDCN must consider licensing all medical laboratories of government and private institutions where reports with direct bearing to the management of patients are issued. They must be certified and renew their licenses.
Thank you so much for this opportunity to interact with colleagues on my aspiration to the highest office in NMA. I am more enriched in the discussion. God bless this innovation and the Innovators.
I wish to congratulate Prof Mike Ogirima on his recent electoral success and assumption of office as the President of Nigerian Medical Association.
While I pray for God's grace upon you for a successful tenure, I implore you never to forget your campaign slogan which is building an effective BRIDGE between the old and the young in NMA.
God bless your reign Sir!