Catholic practitioners canvass more investment in health sector

Federal and state governments have been urged to evolve a better working environment for health workers in Nigeria.

Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) made the call at its 18th Annual Conference and General Meeting held in Nnewi, Anambra on Friday.

The theme of the conference was “Integrating Spirituality Into Practice: Exploring Holistic Approach and Recognising the Spiritual Nature of Man ”.

National President of ACMPN, Dr Matthew Ashikemi, said Nigerian medical practitioners were operating under unfavorable conditions which need urgent attention.

“We are saying that the Federal Government should take care of health workers, they should provide them with the things they need to work with for better service delivery.

“They should also ensure that health workers’ welfare is addressed, that will take care of so many things,” he said.

Ashikemi said the conference which drew participants from across Nigeria was to enrich members to be better practitioners as Catholic faithful.

He urged Catholic medical practitioners to be exemplary by making more efforts to worship God through service to the people.

“The theme for this year’s conference is very apt in our contemporary world today.

“Together with the sub themes on Bioethics, Sudden Death Syndrome Strengthening the Health System, affords us the opportunity to introspect, sober reflection and self- examine ourselves,” he said.

On his part, Prof. Micheal Asuzu, the Chairman ACMPN board of trustees said it was unfortunate that the country had continued to lose professionals without efforts to address the trend.

Asuzu said the brain drain phenomenon would not end soon until the factors responsible for it were given the attention they deserved.

According to him, “I will not stop anybody from going to where his life will be better but my advice is that they should keep an eye on Nigeria because we have fix it.

“I approve any application that comes my way because, if such a person goes out and becomes better, his family and the country will be better for it, I can not allow any of my students to be stranded in the street.”

On his part, Prof. Anthony Igwegbe, the chairman of the occasion said Catholic medical professionals should practice with the ethics set by the society and those by the Church.

Igwegbe, a former Chief Medical Director at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, said professionals should serve God while rendering services to people and when it conflicts with their faith, they should refer the patients elsewhere.

Prof. Evaristus Afiadigwe, the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee said AGM started on Thursday with medical outreach at St Felix Hospital and that no fewer than 500 patients attended.

Afiadigwe said no fewer than 150 delegates attended physically while many others joined virtually.

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