Following the domestication of the task shifting and task sharing policy in Oyo State, the state government has said it will disengage itself from any liability any health workers might incur from mismanagement of any patient.
Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Azeez Adeduntan who spoke at the launch of the state’s task shifting and task sharing policy and operational guidelines document in Ibadan, on Tuesday, said medical insurance lawyers are in the prowl for health workers to sue for negligence and medical malpractices.
The launch, by the Oyo State Primary Health Care Board in Collaboration with Pathfinder International, had many stakeholders in health, including professional bodies and developmental partners and civil society organizations.
According to him, health workers must know their limitations despite the state domesticating the task shifting and task sharing policy.
Adeduntan declared, “What we are doing is to make sure that any woman that come to deliver in Oyo State will not have to die, and one of the ways to do it is this task sharing and task shifting.
“Oyo government will not share in the liability of any nurse, community health extension workers and the community health officers that get into trouble, the hallmark of somebody that is well trained is to know their limitations. If you cannot handle a process, you refer quickly. Nobody will blame you for refereeing.”
The health commissioner assured of government’s commitment to the health of women and children and that it has been providing free health care services for them through interventions such as the “Save a million lives project,” and Oyo State health insurance scheme.
Acting Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Lanre Abass said the policy was to temporarily take care of dearth of human resources for health, especially at the Primary healthcare level.
Abass stated that dearth of human resources for health, especially at the Primary healthcare level, had reached a state of emergency, adding that the domesticated policy would ensure that health workers
While the minimum services package for health to indicate the gaps, the challenges and solutions are been developed, he said the domesticated task shifting and task sharing policy and operational guidelines document will afford the state opportunity to temporarily use other lower cadres of healthcare to provide services, where possible.
He declared: “Everyone has agreed that this is the way to go at least for now because patients in the very rural community where many health workers do not want to work, must still also receive services.”
Pathfinder International representative, Mr Yusuf Nuhu stated that the launch was a giant stride towards improving quality healthcare services in the state.
According to Nuhu, “it has been shown that task shifting task sharing gets people with the right skill, in the right places to do the right thing without abandoning the other methods of increasing quality healthcare workers.”
Oyo State team leader, Nigeria Urban Health Reproductive Initiative, NUHRI, Mrs Stella Akinso assured that with the domestication of the policy, the state’s contraceptive prevalence rate will further go up.
Akinso said that rivalry among different cadre is no longer fashionable, adding that people, urging health workers to multiply themselves by stepping down their skill to other cadres.