Clin­i­cal of­fi­cers are key

Business Daily (Kenya) - - IDEAS & DEBATE - Ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion re­lies on the ser­vices of clin­i­cal o icers and nurses TO COM­MENT

Re­ports that doc­tors are op­posed to the Na­tional Hos­pi­tal In­sur­ance Fund’s (NHIF) re­cent change of mind to pay for sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures and imag­ing tests or­dered by clin­i­cal of­fi­cers are wor­ry­ing.

The Kenya Med­i­cal Prac­ti­tion­ers, Phar­ma­cists and Den­tists' Union (KMPDU) ar­gues that al­low­ing clin­i­cal of­fi­cers to pre­scribe imag­ing tests could ex­pose pa­tients to un­nec­es­sary ra­di­a­tion and that the clin­i­cians should be made to re­fer pa­tients to doc­tors for such treat­ments. Yet the re­al­ity in Kenya is that doc­tors are few and are mostly con­cen­trated in ur­ban ar­eas. The ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion, who live in ru­ral ar­eas, rely on the ser­vices of clin­i­cal of­fi­cers and nurses for health ser­vices and it was com­pletely un­ac­cept­able that NHIF, whose man­date is to drive univer­sal health cov­er­age would refuse to pay for their ser­vices.

While the doc­tors have every right to de­fend their own in­ter­ests, it is im­por­tant not to lose sight of the big­ger pic­ture, which is to ex­pand the reach and ac­cess to med­i­cal ser­vices among the pop­u­la­tion. Doc­tors have their place in the med­i­cal ser­vices chain, but they cer­tainly can­not al­low their pe­cu­niary in­ter­ests to over­ride the pub­lic good. Though not spe­cial­ists, most clin­i­cal of­fi­cers are well­trained in gen­eral med­i­cal du­ties such as di­ag­no­sis, treat­ment of gen­eral dis­eases and in­juries and must be al­lowed to ap­ply those skills to serve the pub­lic. The ed­i­tor in­vites com­ments on our con­tent and top­i­cal is­sues. Please in­clude your full names, tele­phone number and ad­dress in your let­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.