Generally, in Nigerian secondary and tertiary health institutions and especially in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, the need for quality (safe, timely, efficient and patient-centred) general out-patient and family care has increasingly been recognised over the past few years.
In order to contribute towards meeting the ever increasing national and local demand for quality general out-patient and family-centred clinical services, the Management of UNTH, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu created the department of Family Medicine through an enabling circular on 27th of May 2015 to subsume the former general out-patient department of the hospital. This has invariably expanded and increased the human (personnel), material (infrastructure and equipment) and financial resources of the hospital among other diverse resources.
To guide the management of UNTH through the Family Medicine terrain, as well as render our tripartite mandate of service delivery, training and research, the department acts as a change agent and as a catalyst for quality health care services. In the pursuit of these critical elements of quality patients’ care, the department of Family Medicine focuses on acquisition of requisite health resources and accreditation to make the hospital a centre of excellence.
The newly-created Family Medicine Department runs the General Outpatient Clinic, the NHIS Clinic (including the UNTH NHIS Clinic at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Independence Layout, Enugu), Mini GOPC at the UNTH Old site, and a Rural Health Unit (at the Comprehensive Health Centre at Obukpa, Nsukka).
The department is also a postgraduate training department poised for the training of residents in the specialty of Family Medicine.
The Mission of the Family Medicine Department
- To provide high quality general and family health care services to the satisfaction of the health care needs of our patients, regardless of their age, gender or type of disease or illness.
- To provide high quality postgraduate training in Family Medicine in Nigeria and the West African sub-region.
- To consolidate and update the competence (knowledge, skill and attitude) of the general duty Medical Officers as regards their general role in tertiary care and secondary/primary care elsewhere.
- To acquire, provide and use competently relevant modern ancillary diagnostic (point of care) and therapeutic aids and technology in general medical practice and family medicine.
The Vision of the Family Medicine Department
- To become recognised and regarded as a frontline department that provides and delivers holistic, innovative and integrative medical care to the patient, anchored on high quality general and family practice healthcare through continuing (on- going), comprehensive and coordinated care.
- To create a shared network that ensures comprehensive healthcare to patients within the context of the family, community and environment.
- To become recognised and fully accredited for residency training in Family Medicine by both the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and the West African College of Physicians by 2020.
The Core Values of the Department
The core values of the department include, but are not limited to:
- Patient centeredness
- Patient satisfaction
- Patient safety
- Participatory care
- Continuing care
Headship in the Department
The pioneer Head of the Department of Family Medicine was appointed by the hospital management in May, 2015. He is Dr John Nnaemeka Ofoedu, FWACP(FM), Dip.PM(Israel), a Consultant Family Physician Special Grade 1 and he has been at the helm of affairs in the department from inception till date.
The Head of Department is accountable to the Chief Medical Director through the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the hospital. He is also a member of the hospital’s Medical Advisory Committee.
The Coordinator of Residency Training of the department is Dr Obioha Odoeme Imediegwu, FMCGP, FWACP (FM), a distinguished elder in the Faculty of Family Medicine, and a member of both the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria and West African College of Physicians.
- Full-time Consultant Family Physicians – 3
- Part-time Consultant – 6
- Resident Doctors – 21
- Medical Officer Cadre in the FMD – 5
- NHIS Clinic Federal Secretariat, Enugu – 3
- Mini-FMC, Old Site – 1
- Posting to PEPFAR (HIV) Clinic – 2
- Nurses – 6
- Admin. – 14
- Hospital Orderlies – 4
- Cleaners – 6
- NHIS Outpost (Fed Secretariat) Staff – 21
- UNTH Old Site – 3
As a specialist training department in a tertiary health institution, our activities are in tandem with the tripartite mandate of any training department: Clinical Services, Training and Research.
- Presently, the department runs daily (weekdays ) General Outpatient Clinics for the general public (17yrs and above), using the patient-centred clinical approach, with the hope of extending her services to the paediatric age group following the much needed expansion of the department to create more consultation rooms and other enabling structures to fully implement Family Practice in the hospital.
- We undertake managed care services as Primary Care Providers for NHIS at the GOPC in UNTH Ituku-Ozalla (for UNTH enrollees ), the UNTH Old Site, and the NHIS Outpost at Federal Secretariat Complex, Enugu.
- Conduction of pre-admission medical examinations of fitness for students of the various schools of UNTH, and medical examinations of all types for the general public, companies and parastatals.
- Health Education and Prevention services.
- Training outpost for medical students’ clerkship, student nurses and resident doctors.
- Coordination of patient care between the department and other sub-specialty departments in the hospital.
- Emergency services during the weekends and public holidays at the Accident and Emergency Department.
Training / Academic Activities
- Clinical Presentations, every Thursday at 12 noon.
- Journal Reviews every last Thursday of the month at 1pm.
- Morbidity/Mortality Reviews every first Friday of the month at 1pm.
- Radiological Conferences on Mondays at 1pm.
- Seminars, every last Monday of the month at 1pm.
The department has constituted a research group which is currently working on proposals for some practice-based research in the department.
The Department of Family Medicine, UNTH Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, has come a long way since her creation on 27th May, 2015. The department is playing a pivotal role as a transformation agent in the developmental programmes of the current Hospital Management, and has attracted a lot of interest / attention from the management based on the dynamism of the department and its willingness to promote evidence-based health improvement strategies.
Dr John Nnaemeka Ofoedu, MBBS, FWACP(FM), Dip.PM(Israel),
Head, Family Medicine Department.