INCREASED RESEARCH FUNDING, KEY TO EFFECTIVE PATIENT CARE, SAYS DON
The 105th Inaugural lecturer of the University of Calabar, Prof. Ndifreke Ekpo Udonwa has identified increased research funding in the field of family medicine as key to effective and efficient patient care.
Prof. Udonwa stated this at the institution’s International Conference Centre while delivering the inaugural lecture on the topic; ‘’ The Synergistic Trio: A Therapeutic Web of Care in Differentiating the Undifferentiated’’.
According to the inaugural lecturer, increased research funding and expansion in staff strength would enhance huge improvement in service delivery, saying the role of the family in service delivery equally stands out as the family physician interfaces with the family in holistic patient care.
He said an important attribute of the family medicine physician is capacity for research in the field of family medicine, stressing that, research opportunities abound in patient differentiation and the various family Medicine subspecialties, including Rural Health.
Prof. Udonwa said despite several challenges, Family Medicine has remained pivotal in the continuous endeavour of ‘differentiating the undifferentiated’, and has continued to ensure effective and efficient healthcare delivery.
The inaugural lecturer said for patients to be given the appropriate kind of medical care, the primary care level needs to be greatly improved.
Udonwa, a Professor of Family Medicine, maintained that improvement of the sub-specialization units of Family Medicine is paramount to ensuring the delivery of health care services of the highest level.
The inaugural lecturer lamented that rural health, which is an important subspecialty unit, has sadly been neglected although a good fraction of the Nigerian population still dwells in rural areas.
He said that Family Medicine, as a speciality, is vast in its nature and relevant to holistic health care delivery, adding that, in the highly competitive healthcare market, patient differentiation is critical for enhanced patient satisfaction and good clinical outcome.
Prof. Udonwa said contemporary consumers of health care services are very highly exposed to the internet and other offerings of the cyber highways, which according to him, has made them increasingly aware of the kinds of activities that they should be accorded, for better patient satisfaction.
In his words, ‘’ The outcome of every patient’s treatment is determined by the ability of the physician to determine whether the patient presents with illness, disease or sickness. The three situations mean different things to different patients, and, therefore, must be differentiated.
'' Family Medicine is a subspecialty that cares, not only for sick patients but also healthy individuals and their families, it covers the description of health by the family physician.’’
The inaugural lecturer, however, urged everyone to get a family physician who is properly trained and equipped to perform the ‘7-star’ doctor role, to care both for them as individuals, and for their families.
The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Florence Obi, in her remarks, described the inaugural lecturer as an erudite scholar who has contributed immensely to the growth of the institution, even as she thanked him for paying his ‘intellectual debt’.
Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Michael Okom, the Vice-Chancellor described the topic of the lecture as 'apt and intriguing, even as she thanked the inaugural lecturer for contributing to knowledge.
She called on young academics to see the inaugural lecturer as their mentor and role model and urged them to tap from his wealth of experience as a renowned Family Physician.
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