NATION

‘Medical Professionals Lack Professionalism’

Ms Burchell pointed to examples of poor behaviour among medical practitioners as examples, such as those who put taking a selfie with a famous patient above that patient’s care.
25 Jun 2019 15:28
‘Medical Professionals Lack Professionalism’
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education Alison Burchell gives the opening speach at the Pasifika Best Practice Health Professions Education Symposium at Pearl Resort, Pacific Harbor. Photo: Sydnee Gonzalez

Medical professionals were yesterday told to step it up when it comes to their levels of professionalism and it starts with training them correctly from the start.

This comment was made by Ministry of Education Permanent Secretary Alison Burchell at the Pasifika Best Practice Health Professions Education Symposium at Pearl Resort, Pacific Harbour.

Ms Burchell pointed to examples of poor behaviour among medical practitioners as examples, such as those who put taking a selfie with a famous patient above that patient’s care.

“Why is that happening when someone is sick and in hospital and is wanting care? Why are they doing that, what kind of ethics, what kind of bedside care have they been taught by you?” asked Ms Burchell.

“What are we teaching our medical professionals if they are behaving like that? When you have that debate, look at it very closely because people learn behaviour — it doesn’t just happen.”

William May, the dean of Fiji National University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, agreed with Ms Burchell that professionalism was a problem that the field was currently facing and that how to fix it was definitely a debated topic.

“Some people say that it should be taught from home and some people say in primary or secondary schools — I think there’s some truth in both,” said Dean May.

He said that in health education, it was be difficult at times to model correct behaviour to students because, once a student reached the practical part of their studies, there wasn’t a teacher there 100 per cent of the time.

“It’s not easy to learn and correct behaviours in our medical setting because most of those behaviours are modelled,” he said.

However, he added that the issue is something that would be discussed in one of the symposium’s main forums.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: sydnee.gonzalez@fijisun.com.fj

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