Editor's Comment

Rid hospitals of bad eggs

LEVY Mwanawasa Hospital.

BY NATURE of their jobs, medical personnel are expected to demonstrate empathy, understanding and love during their course of duty because, on a daily basis, they are dealing with people in delicate conditions.
Their role is to facilitate healing and alleviate suffering through diagnosis and treatment.
In most unfortunate and undesirable circumstances they are required to give hope and comfort to the dying.
Medical experts worth their salt know better than anybody else that theirs is a noble and delicate profession and their conduct on duty could be the difference between life and death.
It is therefore expected that all medical personnel from both private and public health institutions carry out their duties with utmost compassion, diligence and commitment.
It is, however, saddening that today complaints about the bad work attitude among medical personnel, and nurses in particular, have become a proverbial song in the ears of many Zambians.
It is in public domain that many people have raised concern about the work attitude of some of our medical personnel in public health institutions.
The most common complaints are about the cruelty and apathetic attitude of some medical personnel at critical times that medical attention is really needed.
Some people have also blamed the laxity of some nurses for the death of relatives.
This attitude has in some unfortunate instances led to the battering of some nurses by agitated relatives of patients or the deceased.
Although the majority of the health workers are evidently dedicated to duty and passionate about their profession, it is evident that there are some bad eggs among them. It is these misfits that have to be dealt with.
It is for this reason that we welcome Minister of Lusaka Province Bowman Lusambo’s warning against acts of negligence by medical personnel at Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital following complaints from the public.
Mr Lusambo said Government will not tolerate any acts of negligence from medical personnel.
“We will investigate reports of negligence and those who will be found wanting will be dealt with accordingly,” Mr Lusambo said.
The stance taken by Government to probe reports of negligence are welcome and should be supported by all progressive Zambians who wish to see quality health service delivery in our health institutions.
Those who have evidence of negligent behaviour by some medical personnel should not shy away but come forward so that culprits are brought to book.
As a country that is working towards attaining access to quality health care for all citizens, Zambia cannot allow disgruntled individuals putting on the face of medical personnel to stand in the way.
Mr Lusambo rightly stated that Government has prioritised investment in the health sector because it knows that a healthy population is key in the attainment of national development.
Indeed a healthy population is key to enhancing national productivity and economic growth.
And Government has been working to improve health service delivery through construction of health posts across the country and elevation of some clinics to first-level hospitals.
Government has also provided health facilities with specialised equipment and drugs while working to close up the medical personnel deficit.
All these efforts are aimed at ensuring that no Zambian dies an unavoidable death.
However, with a bad work culture among some of our medical personnel, Government’s dream to provide quality healthcare service close to the people will remain but a dream.
This is why the probe into alleged negligence by some medical personnel should be taken seriously by those who will be charged with the responsibility.
Instead of just limiting the probe to Levy Mwanawasa Hospital, it should be extended to all public health institutions to ensure that the problem is nipped in the bud.
For those who will be found wanting, they should be punished to deter would-be offenders.
Such should be shown the door out of the profession to create room for the many others who are genuinely called to serve with passion.
The medical profession is too delicate to have bad eggs. Let’s get rid of them to avoid losing lives at their negligent hands.



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