Prof. Emmanuel Otolorin, the President, Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association (ICOMAA), has urged resident doctors in Nigeria to be resilient, irrespective of the challenges faced in their quest to get a medical education.
Otolorin stated this during the public presentation of a book, entitled: ‘Portraits in the Hallway: 53-Year Historical Account of the Association of Resident Doctors, University College Hospital’.
He decried the continuous decline in the quality of medical education and healthcare services being provided to patients, blaming it on low budgetary allocation to the health sector.
Otolorin attributed the history of decline in medical education and care of patients in Nigeria to the proliferation of medical schools and the mandatory students’ intake without a commensurate increase in budgetary allocation.
He said, “The Association of Resident Doctors then decided to try the last option of embarking on industrial action or temporary withdrawal of services which had some good and bad outcomes.
“While there was a cosmetic salary increase, the budgetary allocation to the health sector was not significant; therefore, many patients suffered adverse consequences of this decision.
“It is unfortunate that the scenarios of yesteryears are still here today,” he said.
Otolorin commended some graduates of medical schools who had left the country and were doing the country proud in every corner of the world.
Also speaking, the President National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr Uyi Lawal, commended the authors, also a former president of the association.
“We appreciate you for showing us that in everything you do, you must learn how to follow the order and know what the Hallway stands for,” he said.
The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Dr Mushood Adeoye, who represented the Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital (UCH), commended the author putting together the synopsis of past events in the Association of Resident Doctors, UCH branch, Ibadan.
In his review, Mr Olayinka Esan, the Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan branch, said that the 20-chapter book traced the history of the association and the contributions of elders in the medical field.
According to him, the book highlights the challenges in the Nigerian medical education and the roles of the association in setting things right in the country’s healthcare system.
In his remarks, Dr Olusegun Olaopa, the lead author of the book and former president of the association, said that the essence of putting up the book was to interrogate how things had moved over the years.
“The purpose of writing this book is for us to recall the purpose of the association, which is to improve the standards of healthcare in Nigeria.
“We need to constantly remind ourselves of the primary purpose of the association in whatever we do or in any step we take so as to ensure that the health sector is made better for the benefit of the masses,” Olaopa said.
NAN reports that the event was attended by a former Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, the pioneer Provost of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Emeritus Prof. Oluwole Akande and Prof. Oyin Olurin, among others.
Other contributors to the book included Drs Francis Fagula, Oladimeji Adebayo and Morounmubo Ibiyo.
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