By Oluwafunke Ishola
Lagos, Feb. 27, 2021 The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare Services, Dr Tanko Sununu, has called for involvement of more doctors in politics to influence policies that would enhance the development of medical profession.
Sununu, representing Yauri, Ngaski, and Shanga Federal Constiuency of Kebbi, made the call on Saturday at the 2021 Young Doctor’s Mentorship Conference in Lagos.
It was organised by the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
Naija247news reports that theme of the session was: “Post-Qualification Career Options for Young Doctors”.
Sununu spoke on the sub-topic: “Doctors in Mainstream Politics.”
He said that involvement of more doctors in politics was necessary to educate and influence policies that would advance welfare, infrastructure and healthcare development.
According to him, it is not helpful to the medical profession and the society to leave politics totally for the politicians, saying that NMA should encourage young doctors’ involvement in politics.
Sununu said he joined politics through NMA, thus used his position to facilitate car loans, allocation of houses to doctors and improved salary structure, as the Publicity Secretary of Kebbi NMA.
“Politics is expensive, but a bit easier for doctors that have touched lots of lives in the states where they intend to contest.
“Most of these people come during my campaign and spoke about how I had impacted their lives, this helped my success,” he said.
The lawmaker appealed to NMA to bring up politically conscious minded leaders that would champion the interest of others beyond self interest.
Commenting, Dr Olufemi Omololu, the Managing Director, Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, said that there was a lot to learn in medicine, and the learning was progressive.
Omololu, who spoke on the sub-topic: “Specialisation and Sub-Specialisation” said there were lots of opportunities for doctors that specialised.
According to him, young doctors should broaden their horizons beyond specialisation in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Surgeon, General Practitioner, among others.
He said there were lots of medical speciality, adding that there were over 40 specialities in Canada, over 100 in U.S and over 300 in UK.
Omololu advised them to have mentors that would guide them, be diligent and open to learning, stressing that specialisation brings influence and affluence for a doctor.
Also, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, said that post qualification career options for young doctors was a major issue.
Adeyemo said that many had been disillusioned by their environment and opinions of older doctors.
He said that many young doctors shunned some specialities due to lack of mentorship and exposure to the specialty.
The CMAC chairman said more should be done in mentoring and creating opportunities that would discourage brain drain.
Also, Dr Olalekan Olatise, Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Hospitals, Lagos, said Nigeria’s health sector presents lucrative opportunities to doctors in the business of private medical practice.
“We have a large population, a growing middle class that can pay for services, even if out-of-pocket, and increasing partnership opportunities,” Olatise said.
He said opportunities in the medical practice showed that Nigerians want international specialist care delivered to them locally.
Olatise advised doctors interested in medical business to position themselves to acquire relevant skills and network.
Commenting, Dr Adetunji Adenekan, Chairman, Lagos NMA, said that issues surrounding the growth of young doctors was germaine to the association.
Adenekan said the conference was held to let young doctors know that there was hope in the horizon for them.