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Medical practitioners should exhibit professionalism

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd September 2011 03:00 AM

Something is not right in the medical profession. Cases of patients dying as a result of apparent negligence have become unacceptably common.

Something is not right in the medical profession. Cases of patients dying as a result of apparent negligence have become unacceptably common.

Something is not right in the medical profession. Cases of patients dying as a result of apparent negligence have become unacceptably common.

Monday’s case of the death of Cecilia Nambozo with her baby on September 6 because she failed to raise sh300,000 for caesarean section delivery is not an isolated incident, but an emerging pattern.

On May 31, there was a reported death of a newborn baby in Jinja Hospital allegedly under the hands of student nurses. Thirteen days later, on June 13, a newborn baby bled to death at Gulu Regional Hospital.

On qualifying, medical practitioners make a public commitment to the professional responsibilities they are assuming. This is the principle underlying the Hippocratic Oath. Thereafter, these principles are expected to provide guidance in the ethical decisions they will make throughout their professional lives.

The practice of medicine is a privilege which carries important responsibilities. It calls for observance of the core values of the profession which centre on the duty to help sick people and to avoid harm.

The Government spends about sh32m to train each doctor on tax payers’ money and there is no reason they should leave the people who contributed to their education to die because of greed. Their training should emphasise diligence and work ethics.

The Government needs to review the training and employment policy for health workers. Many do not accept to serve in public service arguing that the salary is inadequate. It may be necessary to require health workers trained on Government scholarships to work in the public service for a minimum number of years before they are allowed to work in private health units.

While Government needs to focus on improving the condition of service of health workers, especially those in upcountry areas, these poor conditions shouldn’t be used as an excuse for unprofessional misconduct.

Medical practitioners should exhibit professionalism

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