THE University Teaching Hospital (UTH) management has a duty to address the negative attitude of some of their doctors who are turning away patients on the flimsy excuse that they are late for their review appointments.
The patients frequenting UTH are not doing so because they want to trouble the doctors and other staff.
It must be understood that one becomes a patient either because of an accident or because of some serious body complication.
Therefore given a choice, the patients whether at UTH or any other medical facility would rather be in the comfort of their homes with their families in a state of good health.
But a clean bill of health is not always guaranteed in one’s life hence the decisions by those afflicted to seek medical attention.
It is therefore expectation of patients that they will be heartily received at those medical facilities by staff committed to their calling.
The patients want to get well quickly so that they can start going about their daily duties of life.
This is because everybody knows that a patient rarely contributes to national development as their preoccupation is to get well through medication provided either by State health institutions or private medical facilities which are expensive.
Since UTH management is aware that some doctors have a negative habit of chasing away patients, it should address those concerns so that the institution is not seen as a place of torture but a place where those afflicted can equity to home.
We know the doctor –patient ratio is overwhelming but this should not be the reason for medical staff to adopt traits which attract criticism rather than understanding.
Generally, the manpower in our health facilities is inadequate to effectively meet the health burden of Zambians.
But surely, those who have chosen the medical profession should do their best to make their fields more attractive to school leavers who would rather enter other fields.
The medical fields should not be made to be viewed as comprising frustrated individuals by a few doctors whose interest of joining the health profession hinged on financial consideration rather than to save lives.
As we have said, since the UTH management is aware of this these negative traits by some of its staff, the time to act against ‘bad eggs’ is now save the institution from embarrassing occasion.
The doctors were not forced to join the profession and so should dedicate themselves to the duties of their jobs.
The doctors who would like to act against their calling should be assisted to find alternative jobs which do not demand empathy.