The entire membership of the Clinical Pharmacists Association Of Nigeria (CPAN) , hereby overwhelmingly expresses satisfaction about the news of the supportive action of the members of the Federal House of Representatives towards the proposed bill on its floor, seeking to reconstitute the governing boards of federal university teaching hospitals.
CPAN sees the move as even long overdue, and should no longer be delayed anymore.
The obnoxious legislation that for some years has guided the appointment of leaderships of our tertiary hospitals in Nigeria has done more harm than good.
The level of the unheard of rivalry in our healthcare team is mainly because of the current laws guiding the appointment of headship of our tertiary health institutions.
The laws have done nothing but promote disharmony, and the end result has been Nigeria’s very poor health index, as well as very low life expectancy in the country.
This makes the saying that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers (in this case, the common masses of Nigeria).
Some healthcare professionals even threaten or go on strike whenever their fellow health professionals in other disciplines are promoted to certain juicy positions in the health sector.
The new bill sponsored and proposed by Hon. Salami, a member representing Ede North/Ede South/ Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State, is one of the best things that will happen and impact positively on our health sector after many years of negative consequences on our health seeking populace.
The Nigerian clinical pharmacists under the umbrella of CPAN, therefore call on all healthcare professionals including pharmacists, physicians, nurses, medical laboratory scientists etc to join hands and encourage our lawmakers to ensure that nothing stops the newly proposed bill from being passed.
We need to borrow a leaf from countries where things are working well.
In those countries, headship is situational and based on competence. It is not the birth right of any particular professional as our laws have made it seem in the past decades.
Even the membership of the management board of our hospitals are skewed in favor of physicians.
In the united kingdom for instance, to become the head of a hospital, one must not be a dentist or a graduate of Human Medicine(medical doctor).
This is because the job of the head /CEO of a hospital is purely administrative.
This is the same scenario found in countries like the US and France. Again, the striking observation is that these mentioned countries have far better health indices than Nigeria.
Same goes with their life expectancy of an average citizen.
In the UK, the life expectancy is about 97 while it is about 98 in the US. That of Nigeria is about 54, what a tragedy!
We are happy to note that this newly proposed bill also aims to review the terminology of the heads of hospitals, redefine the qualification of the head of hospitals, provide a definite tenure of office of heads of hospitals including students of health sciences in the training programs of the hospitals, and include hospitals established post enactment of the extant legal framework in the schedule and for other related matters.
CPAN therefore wants to utilise this opportunity to appreciate the members of the Federal House of Representatives and encourage them to ensure that all measures that will lead to the *Hon Salam’s* proposed new bill to become law are put in place during this dispensation.
The proposed bill if passed will definitely strengthen the administration mechanism of university teaching hospitals through the broadening of its administrative heads, as well as entrench high level of professionalism and regards for merit in the management of our tertiary healthcare institutions.
The bill will undoubtedly end interdisciplinary rivalry and disharmony within our tertiary healthcare institutions.
In summary, this new bill is in tandem with international best practices as seen in many countries like the UK, the US, France etc.
The Nigeria’s healthcare team is supposed to be a real team in the right sense of the word.
TEAM is an acronym for: Together Everyone Achieves More( patients inclusive).
But what we notice in our own brand of health team is nothing but unending disharmony.
And this is attributable to our legislation which prevents other members of the health team from aspiring to be at the pinnacle of their Job within the health system.
In other countries, persons with a Bachelor’s degree in administration, and with the requisite experience can be appointed to head hospitals.
The newly proposed bill has addressed all these challenges and include all health personnel in the capacity building and administration of the federal hospitals in Nigeria.
Only an enemy of Nigeria or the uninformed person will not support the passage of the proposed bill .
Other clinicians such as pharmacists and nurses will be encouraged to do more and compete healthily & effectively within a level playing ground which is poised to be assured by the newly proposed bill on the floor of the House of Representatives.
May we also use this medium to appreciate and commend the sponsor of this newly proposed people oriented bill in the person of Hon Bamidele Salami.
Furthermore we will like to request the Nigerian electorate to impress it on their Representatives from their respective constituencies to support the passage of this overall lives saving bill.
This is the time for Nigeria to continue to pass popular bills and have the president assent to them so as to become laws.
May we also join millions of Nigerians to laud the presidency over the assent on the electoral bill recently thereby making it a law.
In the same vein, we call on the Federal government to as a matter of urgency to assent to the Pharmacy Council Bill, that has been passed by the national Assembly.
Written by Dr Moteehat Bukkie Olu-Lawal, national secretary, CPAN and Dr Joseph Madu, national chairman, CPAN