Distinguished Rivers Colleagues,
Imagine a scenario where health insurance was universal and provided #20,000 per capita per annum, and professional fees made up about 20% of medical bills. With an estimated seven million people in Rivers State, the average Rivers doctor, being responsible for the maintenance of about 5,000 Rivers lives, would earn at least N1.5 million monthly. This is the kind of vision statement I would expect from my professional association.
The purpose of an association like ours is to look after the general and common interests of members with regard to practice. We realize this purpose by monitoring the economic development and legislation in Medicine, making proposals and propositions, and issuing statements relating to these. Our association also instructs and advises members on matters concerning the practice of medicine by arranging meetings and courses, and by drawing up reports.
The time has come in the year when we meet with some fanfare to further our common practice interests. AGM 2019 coming up from the 4th to 10th of August 2019 is no longer news. Our Chairman, in her wisdom, put together a team she charged with organizing the kind of meeting and courses that would change the narrative of doctors in Rivers State coming together to further their common interests.
The AGM and other activities of the week are already provided for and are yours to attend free of charge. We expect every health establishment to acknowledge the AGM week and operate skeletally so as to allow members attend and participate actively. Please note that conference fees are not tied to attendance, not even for core conference activities. Conference fees only earn an attendee a PAPHSS certification and special welfare packages that include quality conference materials and gift items, and extra special conference meals.
The 2019 AGM week comes with the usual conference and meeting schedules but this time around it would have some new programmes that would make it unique.
In line with the theme for this year, and to announce the kick-off of the AGM week, there would be a fitness walk on Saturday, 3rd August, in partnership with the Ministry of Sports and all fitness instructors in Port Harcourt. The plan is for doctors to lead over 2000 persons on a walk/campaign to promote physical activity amongst residents of Rivers State.
Another novel activity expected at this year’s AGM week is a multi-center free specialist medical services in Port Harcourt that would require some of us to offer our clinical services or facilities for free. Radio announcements will call for patients to report for screening and appointment scheduling prior to Friday, 9th August when the programme will take place.
For the first time there will be a conference workshop that goes along with certification. The workshop is to be facilitated by the PSGSI AFRICAN PROGRAMME ON HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS SAFETY (PAPHSS). The workshop will hold over the two days of the conference.
Also happening alongside the conference and the AGM proper, would be a medical fair that would have major medical equipment and pharmaceutical companies exhibit and sell products at discounted rates. Other business related vendors would also be on hand to showcase their specialized products and services, all of which you cannot afford to miss.
Being an AGM with a difference, even the usual programmes promise to be worth sacrificing precious clinical man-hours for. I wish to use this medium to call on all doctors that practice and reside in Rivers State to keep the 3rd to 10th of August 2019 free and endeavour to attend and participate actively.
I look forward to seeing everyone of us at the AGM.
I am Dr Angus Ikpe, Chairman, 2019 AGM Organizing Committee.