Commonwealth doctors seek more investment in health workers’ care, safety

Written by on September 22, 2020

As the world marks the 2020 World Patient Safety Day (WPSD), with the theme: “Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety.” the Commonwealth Medical Association, CMA, has called on governments and other stakeholders to make greater investments and sustained commitments to the working conditions, occupational health and safety of healthcare workers.

In a message to mark the day in Nigeria, the President of CMA, who was former President of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, Dr Osahon Enabulele maintained that health worker safety was essential for patient safety.

Enabulele said investments and sustained commitments to health worker safety were critical to the delivery of quality healthcare and patient safety.

His words: “A physician or health professional who is not physically, mentally, and psycho-socially fit, or who works in unsafe conditions, is very unlikely to deliver quality patient care.

“For anyone that was ever in doubt of the important nexus between health worker safety and patient safety, the experiences from the current Covid-19 pandemic provide enough learning points and convictions on the critical need to adopt a more comprehensive strategic framework that gives emphasis to both health worker safety and patient safety.”
Acknowledging the efforts of governments to provide for health worker safety and protection, he lamented reports from various countries indicate that there are still very huge gaps to be filled, particularly in terms of protecting physicians and other healthcare workers from assaults and acts of violence.

These are perpetrated against them even in the course of saving lives in the current COVID-19 pandemic, as well as evidence of inadequate provision of working tools, Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, and unsatisfactory working conditions, amongst others.

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