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Show Empathy To Hospital Patients – Lagos Commisioner Tells Health Workers 

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By Felix Kuyinu

The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Profesor Akin Abayomi, has enjoined health workers on the need to offer empathy on patients in hospitals to ensure proper health performance system as they carry out their duties.

Abayomi said the state is providing avenue for continuous training of health workers to ensure an improvement of attitude in the state hospital facilities.

He said this while responding to complaints on the attitude of healthcare workers to patients in health facilities in Lagos.

The commissioner noted that the state has earmarked funds, resources, and initiatives to ensure positive engagement between patients and healthcare workers.

Abayomi said the state is watching amid necessary sanctions awaiting any erring worker. He said, “We have feedback mechanisms, so that if you have been to any of our hospitals and you had a bad experience, there is an opportunity for you to send us a message.

“You can drop a message inside the feedback box, as we have these boxes in our general hospitals.

“We also have a civil society desk in the ministry, this gives us regular feedback on the attitude of some of our professionals,” he said.

Abayomi, however, acknowledged that the brain drain was putting pressure on medical professionals, who were dealing with more workload.

“We have to be sensitive to the fact that our medical professionals may be experiencing burnout and we are putting in place programmes, to identify these issues.

“The programmes will also help to manage these identified conditions, which are mostly mental and psychological.

“It will ensure that they are not experiencing these challenges and put measures in place to improve their conditions.”

He stressed further that in a diligent approach in combatting the unwanted situation, the state government is managing occurrence of burnout on the health workers. He noted on the acts on improving customer service training, noting that positive attitude and empathy improve patient satisfaction, treatment compliance, and clinical outcomes.

Abayomi further said that the state had, through a robust selection exercise, ensured that managers at the hospitals were taken in on merit. He said the state has introduced a process of merit in appointing the chief executives and medical directors of health facilities, just to improve standards of care.

The Commisioner concluded by saying the state is into a robust selection criteria, noting that managers of hospitals were of high calibre, leading to improved and inclusive service delivery at health facilities in Lagos State.