Lagos - The Lagos State Government on Sunday urged private medical practitioners to strengthen their collaboration with the State Government in the prevention of communicable diseases by conducting free public diagnosis.
Dr Modele Osunkiyesi, Permanent Secretary, in the state Ministry of Health, made the call at the closing ceremony of a 2-day meeting of health personnel in Lagos.
The meeting was organised by the National Executive Council of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN) in Lagos.
"Some of the free health screenings organised by the State Government are underutilised because residents patronise the private hospitals, where they pay for these services.
"The whole essence of the state's free screening is for early detection and prompt treatment, as well as to save more lives.
"If the private hospitals can complement government's efforts by providing free health screening, the spread of communicable diseases will be curbed in the state.
"Also, private practitioners can help the government with data collation to inform health policies that will enhance healthcare delivery in the state," she said.
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Professor John Obafunwa, the Chief Pathologist at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), urged private medical practitioners to take the issue of diagnosis seriously.
According to him, diagnostic medicine forms the bedrock of any medical treatment and positive health outcomes.
"Private hospitals should ensure that they employ well-trained and qualified laboratory scientists and pathologists to man their laboratories, so as to eliminate misdiagnosed cases," he said.
Also speaking, Dr Ajibayo Adeyeye, a former majority leader at the Seventh Lagos State House of Assembly, urged private hospitals to adopt and adhere to the Lagos State Health Law.
Adeyeye said that the law would ensure patients' safety and reduce the rate of quackery in medical practice.
In his remarks, Dr Adeyeye Arigbabowo, President of AGPMPN, Lagos Chapter, promised to complement the state government's effort in ensuring universal health coverage.
"We are ready to work and cooperate with the government to enable it provide holistic health services and ensure the elimination of sub-standard medical practices," he said.
The programme also featured the investiture of Dr Frank Odafen, as the new National President of the association.