The Professional



JOHESU/AHPA has had a lot to say about the Nigerian Doctor in the past. Both bodies stand out to represent every thing that Doctors would rather avoid in the health system. Some times I see their actions as being capable of keeping doctors on their toes, so as to avoid embarrassment. But at other times, I make bold to say, that their actions/allegations may not entirely be true. This is the TRUTH. It is as observed in this latest press release of JOHESU/AHPA…

Physician Heal Thyself 
The attention of JOHESU/AHPA has been drawn to some recent insinuations of the NMA in recent times. The NMA in a most recent call to President Muhammadu Buhari had requested the President to ban all public officers from seeking medical treatment abroad. In a more embarrassing but in tandem with the well known propensities of narcissism of the NMA hierarchy, it sought through a resolution that health regulatory agencies apart from its own Medical and Oental Council of Nigeria (MOCN) should be barred from carrying out statutory duties in hospitals. More bizarre is the NMA threat to en-list police support for this unlawful resolution. After our usual careful appraisal we wish to posit as reflected:
On paper it sounds very rational that public officers who are first and foremost citizens should be compelled to access care services in Nigeria. A cursory and deep evaluation dictates that NMA and its membership are primarily responsible for the underlying reasons why anybody who has an option cannot rely on Nigerian hospital facilities for treatment for numerous reasons. In similar spirit attempts to restrict regulatory functions of health regulatory bodies apart from the MDCN are not defendable for many reasons including but not limited to:
1.  Nigerian doctors especially those in public sector at both State and Federal levels are on strike for an average of six (6) months every year. This negatively impacts on their expertise and skills. Any citizen who therefore has a choice will most likely seek attention in other places to avoid preventable fatality of perpetually absent doctors from their duty post.
2. There are records to prove that some Consultant Doctors do not handle up to five (5) surgical procedures in a three (3) year period.
This is common place in teaching and specialist hospitals in Nigeria. Generally, consultant doctors work for less than four (4) hours in a day (that is if they bother to show up at all). In the circumstance it is obvious that there are cadres of practitioners in medicine who have refused to optimize their skills and this predispose would be prospective clients to danger. In a bid to respect the dead as African customs demand, we cannot mention specific names though the reality is that instances abound of wrong diagnosis involving notable Nigerians sometimes and these led to fatalities.
3.  Nigerian doctors have gained notoriety for training quacks in their facilities. This level of personnel includes pharmacy attendants who are trained to “fill prescriptions”, auxiliary nurses to handle “nursing care” and laboratory attendants to carry out Udiagnostic tests”. The short cut in training this level of personnel who are quacks in professional callings is a major setback in medicare practice at private sector level. It is not in tandem with global best practices and epitomizes the tragedy which forestalls building capacity in the various healthcare professions in the private sector domain of the health sector.
Indeed one of the major reasons the doctors are scared about regulatory visits from sister regulatory agencies in healthcare is that they realize they are vulnerable to exposure of the unending unethical misconduct in the private facilities which they run.
4.  The NMA communique that advocated that health regulatory bodies should not visit private hospitals was an outright misnomer. A private hospital facility that has full complement of other healthcare practices include pharmacy, laboratory sciences, nursing, physiotherapy and others automatically transcends the regulatory latitude of the MOCN.
The reason is obvious because there are laws that are profession specific which dictates that regulatory agencies have powers to regulate and control the different health professions in Nigeria.
With benefit of hindsight the guild of medical directors (a nascent group of private doctors) indeed challenged the approbation in law of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) to inspect and register landmark ruling in October 2007 gave a ruling that the PCN by virtue approbation in law to inspect and register all hospital pharmacies in both the public and private sector in Nigeria. Court rulings are sacrosanct because the rule of law mantra still prevails in this clime.
The Nigeria Police can therefore not be used by persons who are on the wrong side of the law to promote egocentric desires
Finally, we advice Nigerian doctors to remove the log in their eyes before dealing with specs in the eyes of others. A good word is enough for the wise
Comrade Joy Josiah
Chairman, JOHESU firmly believes that soon, the light of peace will shine in on the minds of both warring parties, NMA on one hand and JOHESU/AHPA on the other hand. I know this can be achieved when all professionals under their limit and respect the limit of others.
Patients reign supreme!!!

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The Admin is a Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Certified Medical Doctor, with profound expertise in Medical Content Creation and Medical Citizen Journalism. He is popular for being a fast rising online voice in Nigeria, with a flair for animated writing. He is a professional health content writer. He loves to swim, read and play board games. He see himself as one who is destined to play a role in the way health services are rendered to the human race.