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Unical VC Urges Doctors to uphold medical ethics

Unical VC, Prof. Zana Akpagu

By Ubong Inyang

No fewer than 32 newly inducted Medical Doctors of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) have been charged to adhere strictly to the ethics of their profession in order to render selfless service to humanity.

Vice Chancellor of the Institution, Prof. Zana Akpagu gave the charge at the Unical International Conference Centre during the 51st Physician’s Oath taking Ceremony (Sponsio Academica).

Prof. Akpagu who described the new doctors as ‘life savers’ urged them to respect the sanctity of life by shunning acts capable of dragging the image of the noble medical profession in the mud.

While congratulating the doctors for scaling the hurdles in the course of their training, he thanked them for their resilience and hard work, even has he charged them to imbibe the spirit of excellence and be good ambassadors of their Alma Mata.

In his words, ‘’ I urge you to imbibe the "Malabitic" spirit and the spirit of excellence. Be good ambassadors of this institution wherever you find yourself. Represent us well and represent your parents well’’

The Vice Chancellor commended the College of Medical Sciences for the pivotal role played in training the doctors and expressed delight with the regularity of the Oath taking Ceremony, which he said, underscores how serious and committed the College is in churning-out qualified doctors.

Prof. Akpagu who was also full of praises for the Parents and Sponsors of the doctors who through thick and thin saw them through school called on the doctors to reciprocate by taking good care of them.

The University helmsman said he was looking forward to admitting them as members of the Unical Alumni Association, which he believed, would provide a platform for them to contribute their quota to the development of their Alma Mata.

Also speaking, Provost of the College of Medical Sciences, Prof. Victor Ansa congratulated them for the success in their academics and reminded them of the need to respect the medical ethics, which he said, would place them on a higher pedestal for effective service delivery.

He said their parents and sponsors welfare should be of paramount interest to them, just as he charged them to live above board in the discharge of their duties, respect their teachers and never put their name to shame.

This came has he thanked the Vice Chancellor for his unflinching support for the College, which he believed, enabled lecturers in the College to adequately train the doctors.

Prof. Ansa said, ‘’ the Vice Chancellor’s support for the College is there for everyone to see. He has supported us in all ramifications both financially and morally".

He also used the occasion to commend the Vice Chancellor for appointing the immediate past Provost of the College, Prof. Maurice Asuquo as the new Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration.

This is even has he expressed delight with the efforts of the Vice Chancellor in ensuring that Nursing Science gained full accreditation for the first time, saying that posterity will be kind to him for his great strides.

Speaking shortly after administering Oath on the new doctors, Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Dr.Tajudeen.A. Sanusi warned them against engaging in unethical practices which may lead to the withdrawal of their licenses as medical practitioners.

Represented by the Provost of the College of Medical Sciences, the Registrar urged the doctors to respect the privacy of their patients, adding that the wellbeing and health of their patients should be their topmost priority.

Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Prof. Ikpeme Ikpeme, in his remarks, urged the doctors to practice in line with the tenets and oath of the medical profession.

Prof. Ikpeme who said humility is what they need to excel in their profession also called on them to respect and work in unison with other medical personnel to achieve a common goal.

In the same vein, Cross River State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Agam Ayuk called on the doctors to be committed to the delivery of efficient health care as well as, help fast-track the Universal Health Suffrage where everyone would have access to quality health care.

While cautioning them against brain drain, he urged them to ply their trade in their motherland in order to contribute their quota to the development of the health sector.

The Sponsio lecturer, Prof. Emmanuel Ezedinachi, who spoke on the topic, ‘’ Doctor-patient Relationship: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’’, said a sound patient-physician relationship enhances trust and encourages continuity of care, both of which contribute to patient health and well-being and wards off malpractice suits.

He, however, said a weak relationship, on the other hand, can affect patient care negatively and has been shown to put a physician at higher risk of being sued for medical malpractice.

Prof. Ezedinachi stressed that the relationship between patients and doctors have evolved over time, just has he called on the new doctors to be up-to-date with these changes and adjust as appropriate.
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