By Henry Uche
The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) has yelled out against the drowning condition of the health sector, saying that the appointment and leadership of both federal and states’ health institutions is a major cause of the epileptic health sector among other causes.
In a statement signed by its national chairman and secretary respectively, Samuel Adekola and Ambrose Ezeh, the chairman reiterated that the country’s health sector has crashed into to, hence the need to all well meaning Nigerians to rise and save it pronto.
According to the statement, the lingering palaver between the physicians/pathologists under the umbrella of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on one side and other health professional bodies in Nigeria is becoming unbecoming particularly on issue of Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) Amendment Bill, 2020.
According to the Chairman, the culture of giving priority attention and importance to physicians against other health care givers has done more harm in the health industry which is evident in the appointment of minister of health, heads of federal and states health institutions among others.
“We at ACPN have continued to critically evaluate the Nigerian health space and we are driven by a strong conviction that greed and avarice have encouraged an inequitable spread of privileges and resources (wealth) of players in the health system to the detriment of consumers of health who are short-changed by the government and providers.
“We have seen that appointments in the health sector in Nigeria is based on cronyism which is against international best practice that hinges on the philosophy of meritocracy and competencies, it is unfortunate that Nigeria physicians (medical doctors) and their umbrella body have blackmailed and as well as intimidated successive administrations in Nigeria at the federal and many states levels to continue to insist that appointments as minister of health and commissioners for health as well as those of permanent secretaries remain the birthright of physicians without any trace of backing in the relevant statute books.”
APCN maintained that the scenario is same with all appointments into the MDAs at federal and state levels with deleterious consequences on public health outputs in Nigeria, saying that, “It must interest all and sundry that all appointments into prime MDAs in health sector for instance; NHIS, NPHCDA, NACA, NCDC, essential drug list committee and all special health intervention programmes including; national malaria control, tuberculosis control, leprosy control etc are dominated by physicians in Nigeria, including heads of all public hospitals at both state and federal level.
They noted that the case is not same in international and other saner climes, where positions of leadership are based purely on merit, skills and competencies.
“The NMA and its major appendages including MDCAN as well as the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) have never hidden their extremely strong resolve to trample over other health workers, especially on allotment of privileges in the health system.
“APCN decried the level of unethical conducts and Task grabbing adding that the desperation to sustain the unhealthy status-quo in the health sector has gotten to a climax of the absurd.”
According to APCN, a case in hand was the connivance of the federal ministry of health not to allow the rule of law prevail despite several court rulings affirming the autonomy of medical laboratory science and the jurisdictional competence of medical laboratory scientist to prevail in clinical laboratories pointing that, “desperate physicians and pathologists will not let this see the light of day.”