In this Article you will read about JOHESU Letter The Secretary to the Government of the Federation
JOHESU Letter The Secretary to the Government of the Federation
RE: CONSULTAN PHARMACIST CADRE: DANGER TO THE FRAGILE HEALTH SYSTEM
The attention of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) has been drawn to the above captioned memo which was addressed to your esteemed office.
In the referred memo which was authenticated by Prof. (Dr.) Innocent A. O. Ujah and Dr. Uche Philips Ekpe who are the President and Secretary General of the NMA, the NMA got into its well known realm of fallacies, lies/innuendoes and propaganda by attempting to create the impression that Government did not follow the due “process of career development programme in the civil service of Nigeria”.
The NMA memo also insinuated a breach of best global practices by claiming that Consultant status in any hospital is reserved for ONLY a Specialist Physician/Dental Surgeon.
Amongst other claims, the NMA claims the hospital system is distorted if any other health professional apart from Doctors/Dentists is appointed consultant; even when we are familiar with the phenomenon of Critical Care Consultant Pharmacists, Consultant Physiotherapist, Consultant Medical Laboratory Scientist, Consultant Radiographers, Consultant Nurses and Consultant Biomedical Engineers, etc exist in hospital settings in the U.K, U.S.A. etc where we draw all protocols in Healthcare from.
Even in a most ridiculous disposition, NMA feigns ignorance of the WAPCP Fellowship programme which has produced Consultant Pharmacists since 1997 in the West African region.
After a careful appraisal of all the issues raised by NMA, JOHESU/AHPA wishes to put on record as reflected thus:
NMA’s memo to the SGF is an act of aggressive misrepresentation against other health professions which is detrimental to the National interest and global best practices. It has the propensity to cause instability, unending disharmony and permanent chaos in Healthcare services.
The self-serving position of a narrow group of overrated bullies who are representatives of an otherwise noble profession in most climes through biased narratives and related fabrications can only prove to be inimical to pharmaceutical care service as an integral part of today’s modern Healthcare services. The approval for the Consultant Cadre in Pharmacy was granted by the National Council of Establishment in 2011 based on the Fellowship programme of the West African Post Graduate College of Pharmacist (WAPCP) contrary to ignorance the NMA portrayed. The NMA used its members to cause several hiccups which held-back the approval for nine years without the release of the circular for the scheme of service of the Fellowship programme of the WAPCP which is similar to the Fellowship programmes of Doctors in the West African College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist, West African College of Surgeons and other related sister colleges in Medical practice.
READ THIS: A NIGERIA BORN PHYSICIAN PRACTICING IN THE UNITED STATES BEMOANS NMA OVER IT’S ATTACK ON THE CONSULTANCY CADRE APPROVED FOR PHARMACISTS.
We need to counsel the obviously ignorant leadership of the NMA that Healthcare is not an indigenous practice novel to Nigeria and its many under-achieving propensities. Healthcare cannot be driven by the egocentric habitude of Nigerian Doctors, but by global best practices. Nigerian Doctors are quick to mouth best practices when it suits them, but suffer selective amnesia when it comes to leveraging on appropriate benefit packages for all members of the Health team. For the records, Nigerian Pharmacists have been graduating Consultant Pharmacists (WAPCP) since 1997 which transcends to a whopping 23 years without recognition of their hard earned skills. While Government pays for the residency training of Doctors in the varous specialist programmes, Pharmacists in specialist training at the WAPCP in the minimum five year duration of the training pay for themselves a cost of over N2M per student. Since 2011, the National Council on Establishment (NCE) approved the Consultant Pharmacist cadre but the antics of the many Doctor bureaucrats in sensitive segments of the Federal Public Service completely frustrated the circularization of the NCE approval until nine years later in 2020. As far back as 2015, past leaderships of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) facilitated the approval by Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) of a circular for residency training of Pharmacists in the Federal Health Institutions (FHIs) which was negated by respective Boards of Management and CEOs of the FHIs.
While the Consultant Pharmacist cadre was almost truncated here in Nigeria, the cadre has been deeply rooted in countries like Ghana and Sierra-Leone which acquire same certification from WAPCP to the consternation of Consultant Pharmacists in Nigeria.
The circularization of the Consultant Pharmacist cadre is in tandem with international best practice across the globe from the U.K, U.S.A, France, and Australia to African countries including Ghana, Sierra-Leone, Egypt and South Africa.
We therefore urge Nigerian Doctors to shun the unrealistic utopia that the world is all theirs for the taking. Whether Nigerian Doctors like it or not, the time has come for new realities that will open the door for the Consultant cadre in Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Radiography and all the other Health professionals in this clime just like it has now happened in Pharmacy.
This discourse becomes the perfect one to call on the FG to encourage all State Governments to institute the Consultant Cadre for Pharmacists and indeed eligible Health workers across board. We particularly call on the SGF to without further delay and conditionalities inspire a lift of the unfortunate suspension imposed on the Consultant cadre for Pharmacists in the employment of Lagos State Government in 2018 by former Gov. Akinwumi Ambode. The May, 2018 approval of this cadre in 2018 was a product of JOHESU-LASG negotiations which was sacrificed by the Ambode administration to satisfy the yearnings of the NMA under the Faduyile led administration of that era. This is what the Ujah led cabal made reference to as benchmark for the Federal Government in its unfortunate memo to the SGF.
4. Ordinarily, it should be within the rights and liberties of any citizen/citizens of Nigeria to indulge in speciality skill acquisition without an unwholesome meddlesomeness by another group of Nigerians because the Nigerian Constitution establishes with clarity, the basis of our citizenship as freeborn. Nobody can hold down the quest for growth and self-development of others. It has become the norm in our dear country for Doctors to demand what they perceive is good for them and then go ahead to impose standards on what can be approved for any other stakeholder in the Nigerian space.
Much as we tolerated this condemnable act which is akin to imposing superiority complex on other health workers by Doctors in the past, we put Doctors on a final notice that these idiotic predilections will no longer be tolerated by our esteemed membership. If Nigerian Doctors refuse to purge themselves from a recurrent grandeur of delusion which has only allowed our Health system drift to a precipice over the last three (3) decades when they blackmailed and took over Headship of Health Institutions from Health/Hospital Administrators/Secretaries, then they leave us with no choice than to meet them with dignity at their famed level of infamy, to save the Nigerian Health system and the citizenry.
5. Perhaps it is fundamental to reiterate the age-long belief that the patient remains the focus in the value-chain of Healthcare delivery. The nature of Healthcare is changing everyday with new emerging clinical disease states (COVID-19) and quest for treatment and management of same.
These challenges come with more complications in patient therapy especially when care providers have to deal with multiple disease states in one patient. To optimize therapeutic outcome in patient-care in today’s world, Pharmacists and other Health Professionals need the right knowledge to help support our patients. Physicians also need in-patient clinical support of Pharmacists and other professionals to excel and to compel a boost in competencies of care-givers across board in the country.
READ THIS: JOHESU Warns Of Second Wave Of COVID19, Resolves To Embark On Indefinite Strike In Due Course.
The whole concept of collaborative qualities in the Health team must therefore abhor nauseating ego, pecuniary interests and gains in the ultimate interest of the patient.
The Consultant Clinical Pharmacist Cadre is an advanced level of career position who is a pace-setter in education, research and the delivery of specialist/expert Pharmacy practice.
The Consultant Cadre is necessary for the sustainable growth of the Pharmacy profession albeit globally. It is instinctive to put on record that the Cadre puts Pharmacy at a height of professional learning and practice to look up to.
The Consultant Pharmacist Cadre beyond ensuring significant contributions towards basic Healthcare delivery and optimizing Healthcare outcomes ensures Optimal Medication Therapy which underscores the availability of quality drugs supply in every credible Health System. Pharmacists who manufacture drugs are the top trained personnel amongst others in the sales, dispensing, distribution and procurement of drugs. This is why a Pharmacist is globally acclaimed the expert on drugs.
Consultant Clinical Pharmacist consultation services improves the efficacy of treatment for infectious diseases and other diseases. Even when Nigerian Doctors want the role of Pharmacists to be limited to drug manufacturing, we note with joy that their responsibilities transcends to direct patient-care responsibilities in hospital and community settings all over the world. Contrary to the mutilated conception that Doctors are leaders who dictate the pace in Healthcare in Nigeria, we document with evidence-based data that the shift in leadership of the Health Sector to Medical Doctors has within three (3) decades made our health system to crash to 187th out of 191 Health Systems from the eminent heights of owning one of the top 5 facilities in the Commonwealth in the dispensation where seasoned Administrators and Managers of cognate experience were in charge of the hospital facilities in Nigeria.
For over 5 years, one of the grounds the NMA has applied to justify its stance that no other Health professional can be a Consultant in the hospital borders on the conduct of a Consultant Nurse reported to have opened the wound of a patient contrary to the position of a Consultant Doctor. Every player knows that Medical protocols allow a Doctor to coordinate Clinical settings. The UCH, Ibadan incident of 2015 has been over-dramatized because all Consultants in various Cadres work together in other climes with separation of duties and core competencies uppermost in their conducts. Even if we presume that one Consultant Nurse erred over 5 years ago, will it become a basis on the template of rational logic to insist on stifling the career growth and development of all health professionals in Nigeria permanently? Moreso, when series of incidents of forgotten surgical materials and tools in patients; as well as procedural errors leading to complications and death have not stopped nor prevented the continuous recognition/acceptance of the fellowships/consultancy cadres of the Doctors.
The attitude of the NMA which has been encouraged by the weak institutions in our country amounts to vindictive purposelessness which must be nipped in the bud for all our Health professionals to excel and flourish.
For too long, the NMA has always intimidated the FG and State Governments with threats of varying nature especially that of strike actions and withdrawal of services. We remind Government at all levels again that NMA and its affiliates like NARD and MDCAN are not Trade Unions and so logically they should not be granted privileges to negotiate Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) and MOUs on behalf of its members, like a trade union.
This matter is presently being challenged by JOHESU at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Ibadan Division to stop the abuse obviously aided by Government inaction. It is important to sound it loud and clear now to Government at all levels that we shall tackle the NMA breath for breath, meter for meter on this subject matter of Consultancy cadre.
If Government concedes to NMA pressure to attempt to sabotage the approval already given our kith and kin on this occasion, we shall respond in like manner to meet Government at any level it allows the NMA to push the matter.
Finally, we call on Nigerians who are familiar with the dynamics of modern day Healthcare delivery to help the section of Nigerian Doctors who continue to behave like itinerant health quacks who have gotten used to usurping the rights, privileges and benefits of others in the value-chain of Healthcare in Nigeria to desist forthwith.
Thank you SGF as you wisely discern the matters arising in this discourse of our volatile sector.
Click here to download the circular JOHESU LETTER TO SGF