Varsity Don calls for establishment of spiritual, pastoral-care units in hospitals

Professor of Sociology of Religion, Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Professor Anthonia Maurice Essien has called for the establishment of a spiritual and pastoral units in the hospitals.

She said such provisions would play a complementary role to medicine and prevent people from falling victim to quacks that have pecuniary interests in the name of spirituality.

Speaking at the inaugural lecture of the university with the theme: Mainstreaming Spirituality in Health Care Services: Exploring the Gamut of Inclusivity,” held at the university’s permanent site, Essien said effective synergy between medical doctors and spiritualists would address the health care needs of patients holistically.

According to her, “I have recommended that it is important for our hospitals to have effective spiritual and pastoral-care units with chaplains noted for healthy spirituality to help patients grapple with challenges of spirituality, this way inauthentic spiritualists lose their customers in their fee for service spirituality which is often detrimental to patients

Speaking further, the professor said that in cases where a patient’s illness defies all known medical options, the spiritualist’s solution may be resorted to within the hospital and not at the spiritual healing homes.

“Building inclusive bridges in spirituality and healthcare services within the hospital ambiance is the best way to go because of our religious climate.

“I recommend prayers to God Almighty as one of the most efficacious assignments’ that spiritualists should give their clients, others that are dangerous and injurious to health should be discouraged. Ignoring medical opinion can be very dangerous,” she said.

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