Army Moves To Stop Medical Tourism Among Troops
In a bid to tackle security challenges facing Nigeria, the Nigerian Army has moved to restructure its medical corps facilities so as to ensure availability of world class care for troops when admitted for treatment in hospitals.
This was disclosed by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, during the opening ceremony of its 2018 Nigerian Army Medical Corps Training Week, with the theme: Enhancing Quality Healthcare in Nigerian Army Medical Corps Facilities,
Buratai said the army has begun overhauling of facilities, especially in tertiary hospitals.
He said various diagnostic equipments has been installed in the hospital such as: mammogram, CT scan, MRI and others, as well as ultramodern theatre facilities for the management of surgical cases.
Represented by Maj.-Gen. Enebong Udoh, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, he said the move was also to reduce medical tourism.
He said the training week was aimed at re positioning the Nigerian Army Medical Corps to deliver health care services in a better manner.
“NA is faced with security challenges that have put a high demand on human and material resources. To surmount these challenges requires that medical professionals should be well-trained and competent. All efforts, therefore, should be geared towards reducing the effects of sicknesses and injuries in the battlefield through an efficient casualty management system.
”I expect a more positive attitude in your care of patients and facilities placed at your disposal. It is for this reason that I appointed a monitoring and evaluation team to see that standards are maintained in the hospitals. I expect that you will make use of these findings to improve the quality of care in your facilities.”
In his welcome address, the Corps Commander, Medical, NAMC, Maj. Gen. Ikechukwu Okeke said the shorted of medical personnel has forced all categories of staff of various specialty to perform trauma care or nursing roles due to the exigencies of duties.
He said “There is a need to reappraise what we are doing whether right or wrong and learn better ways of doing them. Basic issues such as infrastructure/equipment maintenance, emergency preparedness, clinical process and attitude to work are sometimes bizarrely neglected.
He said the lack of doctors and nurses have necessitated the training of personnel in the pre-hospital care“As part of effort to enhance the quality of care in NAMC facilities, a new directorate has been established at the headquarters in line with NA Order of Battle, ORBAT 2016. The Corps is in the final stages of producing the NA medical doctrine as a guide to how we should do things and the mental health policy is almost ready for publication. All these are aimed at putting the corps in a better position to provide quality care.
In his lecture: Enhancing Quality Healthcare in Nigerian Army Medical Corps Facilities, Maj-Gen O.A Ogunbiyi identified poor infrastructure, skilled manpower, funding, the attitude of healthcare providers and training as challenges facing NAMC, while recommending that the Army Heaquarters should sustain the annual recruitment of skilled manpower via a special commissioning scheme.