Chief Medical Director of Gracevalley Medical Centre, Dr Barth Ufoegbunam is contesting for the position of Publicity Secretary of the Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (Lagos Chapter). In this chat with The Boss, he explained why he is the best qualified man for the job.
I understand that you have developed an agenda for your campaign as Publicity?
Yes, I did this to enable our distinguished and highly cerebral senior colleagues and colleagues to have a better understanding of what we intend to do.
Who is Dr Barth?
Let me start by saying that Doctors are highly respected and regarded, globally, expectedly, we should be men and women of unmatched impeccable integrity, we should therefore live above board, our word should be our bond. I studied at the prestigious University of Ife (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) and have acquired tremendous experience on the job as a Medical practitioner.
I am a Rotarian and specifically, President-elect of Rotary Club of Ikeja South, some of us who are versed with Rotary affairs will know that Rotarians don’t play with ROTARY’S 4 Way Test. Is it the TRUTH? Will be FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOODWILL and better FRIENDSHIP? Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned.? I am therefore accustomed to service and giving back which is my sole reason for my current aspiration.
So, what are your plans if elected?
First let me say I am committed to using my time, talent, thought and treasure to the benefit of our association.
You will agree with me that there is more to life than the practice of medicine.
Over the years a lot of people have harboured the perception that most doctors are socially shy, naive and inactive.
I personally think there is an element of truth in that assertion.
There is a need to balance up life equations regardless of how busy we think we are.
We deserve some form of break from our busy day to day clinicals.
If elected, I will work with the Social Secretary to see how we can institute a bi-monthly or quarterly indoor/ outdoor competitions among different zones as well as other social activities.
These can be extended to other medical affiliates in the states on 6 monthly or annually too.
Such social events will be given adequate publicity and promotions as may be necessary.
We can even extend such competitions and events to other non-medical professional bodies like NBA, PSN and others.
Other than the health-related benefits, AGPMPN can earn additional revenue through such social activities.
Pharmaceutical companies could be brought in for sponsorships and presentations.
My vision is to make a difference and change the narratives. AGPMPN Lagos will not be same again with me as Publicity Secretary. We will inject a new lease of life to our public perception and blow our trumpet to even the heavens.
In my first 30 days in office, I will personally fund the opening of all social media accounts, upgrade and activate any redundant or pre-existing one including the AGPMPN website after due consultation and buy-in of the Chairman and Exco members.
To show my readiness for this role, I have secured a two-year deal for a weekly 10-minute slot (Saturday morning) on WAP TV (showing on DSTV 262) & 7 other stations for promotion of AGPMPN activities and programmes, at no expense to AGPMPN.
This will enable us showcase the good works we are doing in AGPMPN to Nigerians and the global audience.
Additionally, it will serve as a huge source of revenue to AGPMPN if properly harnessed.
The Chairman and Exco members will have the prerogative of choosing the montage for the TV programme and fine tune other necessary arrangements after inauguration.
I will ensure the publication of the monthly AGPMPN newsletter, upgrade it to international standard, it will be presented both in print medium and PDF format for online distribution and sharing.
The Editorial Board will be made up of all zonal secretaries.
This is actually one of the five statutory functions of the Publicity Secretary as enshrined in AGPMPN constitution.
As head of Membership Development Committee (MDC) I will liaise with the Chairman and Exco members to arrive at a workable strategy that will enable us bring all legally operating private facilities in the state into the AGPMPN family.
This will automatically help to curtail the menace of quackery in our communities and enable us grow our membership and by extension our revenue.
In addition, each hospital must procure a digitally numbered renewable, well- designed AGPMPN hospital membership badge or logo that must be conspicuously displayed at the entrance of every private hospital in the state for a token amount of money.
The additional membership fees and funds generated from the sale of the badges or logos will help to boost our revenue.
I will work with other Exco members to organize social activities/ competitions among different zones, say on a quarterly basis.
We will also involve colleagues in other medical affiliates, this will engender camaraderie and friendship amongst members.
I will ensure a robust publicity and enlightenment campaigns for all AGPMPN programmes relying on my experience, expertise and strong media contacts established over the years.
The birthdays and wedding anniversaries of members will be celebrated with pomp and pageantry, however with the consent of the celebrants. This will be done in all our social media platforms; it will no doubt help to foster unity and bonding amongst members of AGPMPN.
My vision is not to reinvent the wheel but to reposition AGPMPN to enable it gain name recognition among practitioners, the general public, governments at the local, state and national levels and globally as well.
These are very lofty plans and very extensive, I hope it is not mere political rhetoric?
I dare say that it’s not a spurious promise, neither is it a bait to get elected but a vision borne out of a very genuine passion for service.
We are talking of dwindling revenues for AGPMPN and we have seen zones being levied ditto for individual members.
A large chunk of our monthly dues goes to AGPMPN national and with COVID-19 induced economic doldrums, our revenue may be further shrunken as a result of these factors.
We need to elect men of vision that can think outside the box. I am offering to serve and nothing more. Moreover, as Anchor, Health Mata (a weekly TV talk show on health) on WAPTV, I already have a face and a voice that I will not jeopardize but use for uplifting this association.