A BILL ON THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF RADIOLOGY AND RADIATION MEDICINE ( NCR): A TWENTY FIRST CENTURY TROJAN HORSE (PART 1)
Over three thousand years ago the prophet Calcus assembled the Greeks. He told them that if they are to win the war against Troy, then force alone was insufficient, and they had to find some cunning strategy. The Greek leader, Odysseus then conceived the Trojan Horse gift. The Trojan Gift, as History recorded, was a giant wooden horse offered as gift to Troy unknown to Troy that the Greeks made the horse wide enough to contain a soldier. With this deceit, Troy was defeated.
A similar package of the Greek Trojan Horse is on the floor of the lower chamber of the National legislature. This modernised, well manicured, twenty first century Trojan Horse is packaged as the National Council on Radiology and Radiation Medicine, hereafter referred simply as NCR bill. Why is this bill likened to Trojan Horse? This is a question that will be answered objectively.
For the sake of clarity, the bill in question was proposed by Honourable Patrick Asadu. A background check on the Honorable member revealed that he is a medical doctor and underscores why Radiologists (also medical doctors) considered him worthy for the job of delivering the Trojan Horse. A job he is executing almost perfectly with the bill having sailed through first and second reading. Hon Patrick Asadu for reasons known to him forgot that even though he is a medical doctor, he represents even unlettered people of his constituency.
What does NCR bill seek to achieve? Among other objective it seeks to establish a council to register, monitor, discipline and levy Radiologists, Radiographers, Medical Physicists and Technicians. In doing so it duplicated the functions of Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria (RRBN), that of Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Agency ( NNRA) and others. The council shall consist of Seven (7) radiologists, another (1) medical doctor representing MDCN, making it a total of eight Medical doctors, three radiographers, and two medical physicists. The bill also explicitly states that only a Medical doctor (Radiologists) shall be chairman of the council.
First and foremost, let it be stressed that the professions the bill seeks to coerce are distinct. Radiology and Radiography are distinct professionals. Why would a bill supposedly in interest of all the concerned professionals be eclipsed with name of one of the three professionals it seeks to monitor? Let it be buttressed – Radiographers are professionals licensed to dispense ionising and non-ionising radiation as established by Decree No. 42 of 1987, now referred to as CAP R1 Law of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004. On the other hand, Radiology is a subspecialty in Medicine just as family medicine, Orthopaedics etc. One may now understand how incoherent it is for a council that will regulate Radiographers not have the title of Radiography which is a profession but bearing those of the medical doctors subspecialty. It is obvious that someone is a master here. Isn’t the bill aiming to eclipse Radiography? Though carefully hidden like Odysseus did the intent of the trojan Horse, we can’t but continue to ask for answers.
Another dimension to the Trojan Horse bill is the composition of the said council. Members, as stated in the bill shall be drawn from Radiographers, Radiologists, Medical physicists, Radio therapists, and Technicians. The council shall have eight (8) radiologists but just three (3) Radiographers and two medical physicists. A question for Hon. Patrick is what permutation did he do to arrive at this number? Is he unaware that it takes 2/3 to make a quorum? Or is he just bent on delivering the Trojan Horse?
When subjected to infallible crucible of evidence, the NCR bill stand as only such bill in the world. I stand to be corrected! There is no country today, where issue of ionising radiation is treated with kid gloves and sentiments. This because the role of x-rays in cancer and gene mutation is incontrovertible. This bill has no antecedent in global history. This is the Trojan Horse.