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Some FCT residents urge doctors-patients relationship for improved healthcare

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Abuja, Dec. 10, Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have urged medical doctors to show compassion by building trust among their patients in healthcare delivery.

According to the residents, doctor-patient relationship is a major step of care giving in the sector.

The residents who spoke in separate interviews with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja on Tuesday, called for improved relationship, adding that doctors must make the move.

Chinewe Nathaniel, an Engineer explained that doctor–patient relationship remains a major step of care as they must relate more effectively and efficiently with their patients to protect the interests and the preferences of individuals.

Nathaniel also said that doctors need training to enable them handle some difficult patients.

He said especially when treating patients with psychological problems or breaking bad news to them.

She said this had become imperative because some doctors lack the skills in dealing with difficult patients and also lack understanding of patient’s complaints.

Doctors are people too and they have their individual personalities.

I believe doctors are genuinely compassionate people, expressing that compassion is where they fall short sometimes.

It could be due to lack of training or because they get caught up in the increasing demands of modern healthcare,” she said.

Madam Nkiru Allision, a Pharmacist noted that for decades, physicians were among the most respected professionals globally, but unfortunately that perception was gradually changing.

According to her, patients’ trust in their doctors and healthcare in general is declining and the consequences can be disastrous.

Allision said lack of trust in the healthcare system had led to decreased patient compliance, worse outcomes, corrosive physician-patient interactions, and physician burnout.

This she said was so as patients now have access to information through the internet which makes it easier for them to second-guess their physicians.

The internet allows them to do their own research and arrive at their own diagnoses and treatments, correct or not.

As a result, fewer patients defer to physicians without question and if their information conflicts with their doctors views, they might be less likely to trust their doctors,’’ she said.

Mr Sunday Akhere of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, said doctors’ empathy toward patients was important to ensure quality doctor-patient relationship.

He said it would allow the doctor or the physician to understand the symptomatic experiences and needs of individual patients.

Akhere said various research outcomes had revealed that empathy improves the therapeutic effect and the patient’s quality of life.

Mrs Demola Buzunu, an Economist said doctors must stand on the oath of office based on trust as this always gave the patient confidence to effectively discuss in-depth of their health issues.

According to Buzunu, this development of trust enables the patient to comply with the doctor’s guidance, which consequently results in improvement of health.

Miss Adeola Coker urged doctors to be attentive to their patients during consultation as it was key to ensuring respect toward their patients.

She said nowadays, practitioners were most often taking notes at their computers while speaking with the patient not maintaining eye contact, not being aware of when one feels challenged and/or defensive.

Coker said taking notes on the computer was not a sin but such attitude always discouraged the patient from contributing to the consultation process.

Dr Abraham Ojo, a medical doctor said that people rather see the bad than the good in doctors, which he said tends to paint them all in a negative light.

Ojo said doctor and patient relationship had long been integral to medicine, and many descriptions of professionalism centred on quality interaction.

The doctor said it was on record that physicians always helped patients and families navigate some of life’s most treacherous diseases, adding that a strong bond facilitates the trust and openness necessary to help patients make wise, informed decisions under such difficult circumstances.

Ojo noted that some patients’ behaviours in active participation in medical encounters had over time contributed to physicians’ aversion to patients.

According to him, this attitude has led to the unfavourable direction of physician-patient relationship.

Physicians’ attitude is of central concern for establishing the physician-patient relationship.

There has never been a time when patients need to trust their doctors more, but doctors need to remember their oath and put the patient back in focus.

Sometimes, patients aren’t with the same physician long enough to know the potential of such doctors and build trust.

Patients need to learn that the vast majority of us care about our patients and have their best interests in mind.

As doctors, we all need to become a team again. Patients need to regain our trust, and our profession needs to re-establish its integrity,” he said.

Dr Titilayo Banjoko, a Pediatrician, said that physicians having a strong relationship with their patients were vital to the practice’s success.

She, however, noted that if the relationship between the two sides was irreparably fractured, there was little chance of the patient getting healthier.

Banjoko said it had become mandatory for doctors to provide the best possible care to a patient whether she liked or disliked the patient.

According to her, some patients lie about their past illnesses, treatment, addictions and other history relevant to their diagnosis and treatment.

She said that some patients do have reasons to hide information from a doctor but sometimes such information could drastically change the management and could even make a difference between life and death.

The Pediatrician stressed the need for adequate communication and trust in a doctor-patient relationship and because they influenced patient satisfaction and perceived quality of healthcare services.

She said that statistics had shown that patient-centred approach with effective communications skills and trust leads to better management and improved patient satisfaction.

This is associated to better adherence to the treatment, better health outcomes and better perceived quality of healthcare services.

The pediatrician also advised patients against self medication or changing their drugs without consulting their doctors.

“This includes omitting medications or not adhering to the advised schedule of treatment or starting a new treatment.  

Edited by: Hawa lawal/Ese E. Ekama
(NAN)

 

 

 

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