Ethical Portrait of the Nigerian Health Sector
From the sociology of professions, we understand that Professional Service Firms (PSF) evolved in the medieval period from their historical progenitors – guilds,
monasteries and the earliest universities – and their distinguishing characteristics in terms of values and traditions are the historical outcome of these antecedent
UNCTAD1 describes the professional services as occupations that require a large amount of training and expertise and are usually associated with accredited professions such as lawyers, doctors, accountants, architects and engineers as well as nonaccredited and free-exercise professions such as consulting firms. It however distinguishes between professions (accredited from non-accredited) based on regulatory and ethical provisions that determine their ability to function. Thus for example, the accredited professions require authorization to practice and are expected to ‘maintain a high professional conduct and standards and to uphold the welfare of clients and society over and above pursuing profit maximization‟.
When these principles of professional conduct are not upheld, it challenges the very essence of such professions. Medical professionals for example, commit to the Hippocratic Oath as a necessary criterion for practice.