Former ExxonMobil boss decries health sector decay, brain drain

With reported exodus of medical doctors to other countries over welfare and facilities-related issues, former executive Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil in Nigeria, Bar. Udom Inoyo, has challenged managers of the country’s health sector to improve healthcare delivery systems across Nigeria.

Inoyo, who said this in Uyo during the Physician’s Health Week of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), called for a multi-stakeholders approach towards redeeming the healthcare delivery system.

The ex-ExxonMobil Vice Chairman, who the NMA honoured at the event for his support to the health sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, said “as much as possible, brain drain must be minimised.

“Truth be told, there has been a systemic failure across the board, and for so long. We recognize that you have complained severally, gone on strike, adjusted where necessary, and like some colleagues, may have thought of or are still thinking about abandoning the ship.

“But this is not the time to apportion blames rather an opportunity for all stakeholders to row in the same direction. We must reset the clock and begin a journey of redemption for the general good.”

Inoyo, Specialist in Human Resource Management (HRM) and former National President and Chairman of Council of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in Nigeria, said improvement in HRM was key to inspire improvements in Nigeria’s health system and check current decay.

He said, “To achieve good human resource management and health system strengthened in Nigeria, you as health managers must focus on delivering health benefits to everyone, especially the vulnerable.

“And to effectively do so, you must understand the interplay of human resources in this process. Employees are the engine and livewire of any organization. Recruitment process across the value chain must be above board – square pegs in square holes. Strategic planning and staffing are success factors.

“Development and career planning must not only be deliberate but should be reflective of performance. Compensation and benefits must reflect the market and be transparently determined.

“Given the shortfall in human resources, task shifting is recommended. Ensure that your staff are up to date on global best practices. You must promote such practices that retain the workforce and halt regrettable attrition.”

Despite how challenging the situation maybe, he said, “doctors must continue to take pride in the profession and remain committed to the fundamentals of the Hippocratic Oath.

“You must re-skill yourself. No matter how difficult, please read and stay abreast of new developments in medicine and do not rely on past knowledge and experiences, as any misdiagnosis further erodes the confidence of your patients.”

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