The community and a decent working conditions for the young health workforce

black doctor

(Francisco Venâncio, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Oluwakamisi Ayomide Adebisi, a 4th-year medical student at Ekiti state university college of medicine, Nigeria. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

It’s no doubt that a decent working condition is one of the motivating factors that drive the health workforce to give back its best to society. A decent working condition is not only for the benefit of health workers but for the patients they care for as well. Is the community ready to give to the health care system to increase the decency of the work conditions without relying on the support of the government only?

Using Nigeria my home country as an example, the health care system is solely dependent on the government for finance and resource provision. For a developing country, the annual budget for health provision is nothing to write home about and with a population of more than one hundred and forty million people, the priority is to make sure the budget is only managed. Because the system has so many patients to cater to, the facilities are quite not enough to accommodate the target.

Every year, an average of two thousand newly inducted doctors migrate out of Nigeria to the United States or Europe to work, not only because the pay outside is far higher but the working conditions are also far better. Unfortunately, the population believes the government is in the position to provide everything needed for the efficiency of the health workforce. Should we let the doctors who are to give back to their community leave because of bad working conditions?

The community! The community has a role to play in creating decent working conditions if it wants the effort it invested in training young health workers not to go to waste. The healthcare system in Nigeria is classified into the tertiary, secondary and primary levels. The primary system is the lowest and the most easily accessible in the local community. Unfortunately, health workers don’t want to be stationed in these local centers because the government barely provides the needed resources. The community has the responsibility to step in when the government fails in its responsibilities.

How can the community create decent working conditions? Provision of basic amenities through donations from average and above citizens, volunteering as skilled and unskilled assistants in the non-clinical departments like records and technicals, industrial improvising like a traditional source of heat and metal surgical equipment and so on. We really do not have to wait for sophisticated equipment and facilities to be able to carry out basic and emergency health services in the local communities before referrals. Improvising is one of the best things to be done in a developing country. The technology sector is encouraged to do better.

In conclusion, creating decent work conditions for the young health workforce is the responsibility of you and me. While we wait and depend on the government to do something, we can as well turn our local community around and do something for health workers. Be reminded that the better the condition, the higher the efficiency of the health workforce.

About the author

Oluwakamisi Ayomide Adebisi is a 4th-year medical student at Ekiti state university college of medicine, Nigeria. He is a freelance screenwriter and content creator, passionate about sexual and reproductive health rights especially for women and the minorities. He has participated in numerous IFMSA SCORA’s (Standing Committee on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, including HIV and AIDS) advocacy programs and sessions. He was part of the session team in the IFMSA Africa Regional Meeting in Malawi, 2019. In the bid to be well equipped in health advocacy, Oluwakamisi has taken courses in peer education, emotional intelligence, LGBTQ+ health rights, funds raising, policy making, IPAS, IPET, and many others.

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