The Vice Chancellor of University of Medicine, Ondo State and Professor of Obstetrics and Gyneacology , Prof. Friday Okonofua has urged the management of medical universities in Nigeria to re-design their curricula to include essential courses that will enable their graduates practice effectively in the 21st century healthcare system.
The don made this recommendation while giving a lecture titled: “Re-thinking the Archetypal Medical Education System in Nigeria”, during the 7th Prof. Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe Memorial Lecture held recently at the Afe-Babalola Auditorium, University of Lagos.
He noted that the advice is necessary as the curricula of many Nigerian medical schools have to be revised to include some requisite courses that will enable medical practitioners function more effectively in their areas of specialization.
His words: “The curriculum of the new Medical University should be designed to conform to global trends in medical education. The typical curriculum of a Nigerian medical school is deficient in the following non-clinical related contents: patient-centered care, interdisciplinary teams, evidence-based practice, informatics, organization and leadership theories, health care financing, entrepreneurship and pedagogy,” he noted.
Prof. Okonofua who supported the establishment of more medical universities in the country, however advised their management to be prudent and accountable in handling their resources.
He said: “The establishment of more specialized medical universities in Nigeria will positively change the trajectory of our healthcare system. Hopefully, it will correct some of the curriculum deficits in the traditional medical schools in Nigeria.
“For a medical university to be successful and impactful, its management must be visionary, selfless, accountable and transparent in the use of the available resources at their disposal.”
Speaking further, the VC called on the universities with medical schools to build their campus and teaching hospitals on the same location. This according to him will not only reduce the cost of running the university and teaching hospitals as separate institutions but also increase the impacts of medical universities in the country.
“The University campus and the Teaching Hospital complex should be in one location. Ideally, they should never be on different sites. This unified location allows for the development of a harmonized administrative structure for both institutions, which will help to improve efficiency and effectiveness, and also prevent the unnecessary distribution of resources.
“I have reviewed the administrative patterns of several Universities of Medical Sciences in many parts of the world, and I have not found one where the university and teaching hospital components are administered as separate institutions,” said he.
Commenting on the theme of the annual lecture, the Chairman of UNILAG Alumni Association, Dr. Lukman Adeoti said the theme is apt as it was deliberately chosen for the guest lecturer to inform the public about some of the challenges militating against the Nigeria health sector and possible ways of solving them. He called on the Nigeria government to address the problem of infrastructural deficit in the health sector.
“We decided to bring someone who has an international reputational to inform the society that we as a nation can do better than the way we are in the provision of modern healthcare facilities and enabling environments for our healthcare practitioners in the country,” he said.