Here is the second part (if you missed the first part check here), please continue to read.....
(13) NMA calls for immediate withdrawal of CBN circular authorizing the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigerian (MLSCN) to approve licenses for the importation of in vitro diagnostics (IVDS). It is so petty that NMA is going on strike because the Federal Government (which means well for Nigerians), has taken the bull by the horn to making sure that fake/ substandard diagnostic consumables are removed from the system, by effectively empowering MLSCN-the Agency who has the statutory function to do this job. Sections 4b, and 4e of MLSCN act 11 2003 provides- the function of the board are
(B) Regulate the Practice of Medical Laboratory Science in Nigerian.
(c) Regulate the production, importation, sales, and stocking of diagnostic reagents and chemicals.
Section 19 of the MLSCN act mandates MLSCN Board to also make rules. Section 19(d) goes thus-the board may make rules for the maintenance of good standard of Medical Laboratory practice and services with respect to the regulation and control of private practice including statutory inspection, approval, and monitoring of all Medical Laboratories including those adjoined to Clinics, Private and Public Health Institutions. Instead of NMA to partner with MLSCN to kick fake diagnostics out of Nigeria, she is out there encouraging quackery and fighting a lost battle by being anti-Establishment.
(14) NMA wants immediate release of circular on retirement age. Dear Nigerians by increasing retirement age from 60 to more years how will it bring better productivity in the health sector? When within the next ten years of a doctor starting work ,he can get to the zenith of his career which work will he be doing? And when most of our consultants are part time doctors because they work and have Clinics days only once a week.
(15) NMA , Residency and Oversee Training.NMA should look inwards and stop hiding under residency and oversee training to encourage medical tourism and waste of tax payers money. For self reliance and self determination the Alma Ata declaration has a lot to help a young economy like Nigeria. Health has a lot to do with socio-economic indices. Diseases in the tropics are not the same as in the temperate region. Alma Ata declaration of 1978, encourages young economies to look inwards locally in providing healthcare at low and affordable manner. All over the world it is not only one group in the health field that does residency. Veterinarians, Podiatrist, Medical Physicist, Optometrist, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist, Doctors of Ethnomedicine, Doctors of Holistic Medicine, Doctors of Natural Medicine etc all have residency program. Yet none of these group in Nigeria have gone on strike because of no oversee residency program. A privilege is not a right. There is no government law that says that Allopathic Doctors can only become good doctors only when they go oversee.NMA should stop encouraging this mentality that anything African is inferior.NMA should know that what they are asking is not part of the rules of engagement. This is the time for more humane and humble request. Indian doctors are becoming one of the best doctors in the world not because they are looking overseas but because they are looking inwards.
(16) NMA insist on payment of salaries of her member in Owerri. Her members should also meet part of their own responsibilities and agreement as workers. NMA must learn to obey constituent authority, and must make her members to be amenable to discipline.
(17) NMA members and IPPIS platform. NMA has always shown double standard on this issue. Before now, members of NMA went on strike because of the Government policy that all worker must be on IPPIS platform. How come it is now that NMA is just waking up from sleep, to say that if her members are not on IPPIS she will call her members for indefinite strike? The Government policy is that if you are not on a pensionable appointment you cannot be on IPPIS. So how can house officers and residents be on IPPIS when their appointment is not permanent? Moreover the 2014 Call Budget Circular from the Ministry of Finance provides that you cannot hold more than one appointment and be placed in two places under IPPIS platform. When IPPIS came many members of NMA opposed it because it did not allow them to be on Government pay role in two places.
(18) NMA wants to go on strike because House Officers are said not to be part of NARD-National Association of Resident Doctors. The big question here is, are house officers also paid the same as their senior residents? In as much that the House Officer is a junior resident while the doctor in training to become a specialist is a senior resident the duo cannot be part of any strike action even with their consultants, because they belong to an Association and not a trade Union.NMA is only calling for House Officers to be part of NARD for them to be part of their numerous illegal strike action.
(19) NMA accuses Medical Laboratory Scientists of harasment.NMA has shown herself that she is a Joker. The world knows that it is the other way round. That it is members of NMA that are harassing Medical Laboratory Scientists in Nigerian. The number of Medical laboratory Scientist that NMA members have instigated their sack/termination of appointment/suspension is worrisome. But thanks are to the Most High for the Judiciary who brings hope for the common man, by setting aside most of the sack/termination/suspension. Medical laboratory Scientists are people who do not act on impulse, or with impunity. Why is NMA resorting to self help when issues she has with members of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigerian are in court? Why is she the judge in her own case? The spirit of Medical Laboratory Scientists can never be broken. We shall always move with great crescendo to protect patients’ interest and the public at large, despite the provocation and lawlessness that is being perpetuated by members of NMA in the Health Sector. The laws of the land shall be our strength, for he who holds the mace of truth and justice can never falter. We cannot be intimidated by her Goliath posturing.
(20) NMA says-‘the endless circles of incomplete salary payment to our members in many hospital in the name of short falls in personal cost must stop’. This is the only legitimate demand out of the 24 demands by NMA because the labourer is worthy of his wages. But NMA cannot call her members out for strike based on this, because she is not a registered Trade Union but a charity. This problem is not peculiar to only Allopathic Medical Doctors but to all personnel working in the Health Sector.
(21) NMA in her number 21 demand states ‘universal application of all establishment circulars on remuneration and condition of service for doctors at all levels of Government must be guaranteed’. NMA is not justified here, because this borders on Constitutional Matter. And the Central Government has some limits to want they can impose on the State, bearing in mind that we are practicing a Federal System of Government, where power is shared among the three tiers of Government, the Federal, State and the Local Government. NMA members should come to terms that they are the employee and not the employer. It is very interesting to note, that NMA who champions the lost battle, insists that the approved Scheme of Service/circulars of other healthcare workers will never be implemented is the one now agitating that even things not given by any Scheme Service/circular must be implemented.
(22) NMA demands that Government must urgently set up a health trust fund that will enhance the upgrading of hospitals.NMA is being sentimental here, the problems of our hospital is not funding but mismanagement and accountability. Even if the Government sets 100 trust funds with billions of naira much will not come out of it, because the hospitals are managed contrary to Government laws and principles. Hospital/health administrators should be the ones to head and manage the hospitals. Our hospitals have been poorly managed under the leadership of Allopathic Physicians. When there is good management and accountability Government set goals/objectives can be actualized.
(23) APPOINTMENT INTO THE OFFICE OF THE CMD/MD.
NMA is always doctoring and adding to organic laws. In her 23rd demand, NMA stated “the position of the Chief Medical Director/Medical Director must continue to be occupied by a medical doctor as contained in the act establishing the tertiary hospitals. This position remains sacrosanct and untouchable.” I can beat my chest and say that the leadership of NMA have never seen nor read the content of University Teaching Hospitals (reconstruction of boards) cap U15, LFN 2004 commonly called decree 10 of 1985.There is no where it stated what NMA quoted above. In fact the term medical doctor was never used in that document or Act. Section 5 of the act provides;
(1) There shall be for each hospital a Chief Medical Director who shall be appointed by the president on such terms and conditions as may be specified in his letter of appointment or as may be determined from time to time by the Federal Government.
(2)The Chief Medical Director shall
(a)Be a person who is medically qualified and registered as such for a period of not less than 12 years, and has had considerable administrative experience in matters of health and holds a post graduate medical qualification obtained not less than 5 years prior to the appointment as chief medical director and
(b)Be charged with the responsibility for the execution of the polices and matters affecting the day to day management of the affairs of the hospital.
In the afore-mentioned Act, there is no place it said that the person must be a Medical Doctor. The International best practice is that, it is not only Medical Doctors that head Hospitals rather, in most places; it is a qualified hospital/health administrator that manages the Hospital. If you do a search on the internet on the criteria to become a truck driver in USA, note that you will see that it says that the person must be medically qualified. So does being medically qualified here mean that one must be a medical doctor to be a truck driver? The capital answer is “no”. It means being medically fit. The term medically qualified as used in the act has been misinterpreted to mean a holder of a certificate registrable by MEDICAL AND DENTAL COUNCIL OF NIGERIA.(MDCN). Currently there is a case instituted in the Federal High Court Awka by Comr. A. A Obi a distinguished Medical Laboratory Scientist and the suit number is FHC/AWK/CS/38/2013.The suit is to interpret the meaning of who is medically qualified as used in section 5 of the act. So why is NMA and her members jumping the gun to go on strike on an issue before the Court is that not subjudice? All along NMA has used acts of impunity to undermine the rule of law. The organic law did not say the person will be a Medical Doctor or be registrable with MDCN even though all adverts for the posts of CMD/MD have come to illegally say so.
It is lucid that from the foregoing, certain questions arise. Can NMA as an Association declare and call for strike, when it is not a Trade Union? Is NMA above the law, that it can undermine the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, by trampling on the code of conduct for Public Officers as stated in the constitution? Section 2 subsections 1,2 and 3 of the Trade Union Act, states “A trade union shall not perform any act in furtherance of the purpose for which it has been formed unless it has been registered under this act……………..”
section 2 subsection 2-where a trade union registered under this act ceases to be registered, it shall not there after perform any action in furtherance of this purpose…………….
section 2 subsection 3-if any act which is prohibited by section (1) or (2) of this section, is performed by a trade union, then
(a)The Union and every official thereof; and
(b) Any member thereof who, not being an official thereof, took any active part in the performance of that act, shall be guilty of an offence against this act.
NMA is not a registered Trade Union, so she cannot be doing this, entrenching sabotage and acts of impunity against the State. Above all, endangering the lives of the citizens, she swore on oath to protect. A situation where NMA is going on strike as a result of these frivolous demands is gross misconduct and acts of negligence. Section 3 of 030301( h) of the Public Service Rule terms negligence as a misconduct.030402 (e) terms absence from duty without leave as serious acts of misconduct. Sabotage in 030402(t) is also stated as serious misconduct. Section 33(1) of the Nigerian Constitution 2011 as amended provides every person has a right to life and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life………section 172 of the same Constitution states “A person in the Public Service of the Federation shall observe and conform to the code of conduct of the Federation “.
The fifth schedule part 1 code of conduct for Public Officers says:
(1) A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities.
(9) A public officer shall not do or direct to be done, in abuse of his office, any contrary act prejudicial to the rights of any other person or contrary to.
It is so glaring that what NMA is asking is prejudicial and tramples on the rights of Nigerian Citizens.
(24) IN her 24 demand NMA forgot that she is an employee of the Government and it is not for her to dictate on how Optometrist or Medical Physicist should be paid. Nigeria is not Govern by the whims and caprices of NMA but by laws and polices made by the Government.
Well that is all. What have i learned over the last few days interacting with my doctor friends? That is for another post *alert: it might be long*.
Thanks for stopping by and bearing with all this healthcare problem but we need to move forward in Nigeria. We don't need the healthcare system to crash when we have a lot of problems already.