Members of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) on Monday, provided free healthcare to residents of Shao community in the Moro local government area of Kwara state and its environment.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, chairman of the association, Dr Salihu Olaitan, said that the free medical outreach was part of corporate social responsibility and among activities lined up to usher in an annual general meeting of the association.
Dr Olaitan said the activities opened with a medical and surgical outreach to Shao town where residents were provided with free medical consultation and free prescriptions, adding that select minor surgical procedures were carried out free of charge.
Talking about challenges hindering quality healthcare delivery in the country, the health expert said that,
“Many Nigerians have lost faith in the health system. Those with means often opt to travel thousands of miles to receive care that is also available in Nigeria. Those who cannot arrange such trips often resign to fate and come to hospitals with no faith in the care they will receive. This is often problematic and doctors, particularly, resident doctors, are often at the receiving end with frequent incidents of assault, verbal and physical, towards our members from the patients and relatives.
“We recognize huge faith society places on us practitioners and we are always ready to ensure the best possible care to all patients at all times”.
He, appealed to governments at all levels to take urgent steps to rescue failing health sector, calling on all other stakeholders, including religious and traditional leaders, private sector, civil society, and trade unions to come together to contribute to building a sustainable quality healthcare system that will benefit all Nigerians.
Also speaking, coordinator of the medical outreach, Dr Tijani AbdulRashed, said not less than 500 people would benefit from the programme, adding that it was the first time the association was providing free surgery and medical outreach for people in semi/urban communities.
While thanking the medical team for kind gesture and choice of Shao communities, Elder Adewuyi Samuel, who was one of the beneficiaries of the free medical outreach and a community leader, appreciated the resident doctors and called on the government to always focus attention on residents of rural communities in healthcare delivery.