“Nigerian Medical Doctors are responsible for the rot in our healthcare delivery system” — Nigerian Pharmacists

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[Abuja[–The Association of hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) has alleged that the Nigerian Medical Doctors are responsible for the rot in the nation’s healthcare delivery system.

The allegation is contained in a rejoinder written by the association to counter the Nigerian Medical Association’s (NMA) move against the harmonisation of health workers’ salaries.

The rejoinder signed by Pharm Martins Oyewole, the National Chairman and Pharm Jelili Kilani, the National Secretary added that to support the allegation is the recent discoveries of misappropriation and outright theft of the funds made available by GAVI Foundation and the current arraignment of the CMD of UCTH by EFCC among others.

The Rejoinder reads in part: “It is imperative to make it known to the Nigerian public that the Nigerian Medical Doctors are responsible for the rot in our healthcare delivery system. Her members who are the Chief Medical Directors/MDs are the major instruments of decadence as they encourage corrupt practices, frank embezzlement and misappropriation of the funds made available for our healthcare system. The recent discoveries of misappropriation and outright theft of the funds made available by GAVI Foundation is a pointer to this. The current arraignment of the CMD of UCTH by EFCC is another example. There are many more.”

“Ordinarily, the Association of hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) does not delight in joining issues with sister associations in the healthcare sector just for the fun of it, but we are constrained to put the records straight as a result of certain misinformation and deliberate, but veiled falsehood contained in the said publication. the NMA alleged among other things that: “although health workers.faced many hazards in the discharge of their ditties, their output could not be compared to doctors who performed the hulk of the medical services”. Nothing can be further from the truth.

“Every profession in the healthcare sector has its scheme of service which clearly stipulates job description and corresponding remuneration as approved by the relevant regulatory agencies. The NMA cannot continue to undermine and denigrate other professionals in the health sector. by virtue of the privileges her members enjoy as ministers of health and headship of federal governmental agencies in the health sector, including federal tertiary health institutions,” the association expressed.

“The NMA also alleged that ‘medical doctors are highly skilled and few in the country, the cut-off mark for medical students is 280 and above’. Again we make bold to say that virtually every professional in the healthsector, especially the pharmacist is highly skilled. Pharmacists are even fewer than the medical doctors (compare 40,000 doctors to 20,000 pharmacists) because of the extensive and rigorous training we undergo. We state emphatically that cut-off mark is only a relative method of assessing level of intelligence or academic crilliance and that is why it varies from year to year and from school to school. The true yardstick for measuring intelligence remains intelligent Quotient (IQ) Test, which remains constant. Some pharmacy schools have same, lower or higher cut-off marks than medicine. Cut of mark is not a guide or indicator of who will be a successful professional. It is easier to change course from pharmacy or any other science to medicine than to change to pharmacy – only the best and the toughest survive pharmacy training.

“The Nigerian Medical doctors and especially the NMA have an over bloated ego about their importance, yet the Nigerian Healthcare system is near comatose.

“We at AHAPN are in support of the planned harmonization of healthcare workers salaries. This harmonization should be based on the outcome of a job evaluation committee report of 2008 by the Federal ministry of health, federal ministry of labour and National salaries income and wages commission. We strongly believe that this will be one sure panacea for peace in the healthcare sector in Nigeria. Professionals should be remuneerated based on actual input to patient care and not by how much noise is made by their parent bodies. The federal government should go a step further and rotate leadership of the federal ministry of health and Federal tertiary health institutions among all qualified professionals in the health sector. This will engender healthy competition among the healthcare team for the overall good of Nigerian patients,” the rejoinder concluded.

Recall that on May 1, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) called on the Federal Government to shelve its planned harmonisation of salaries of health workers in the country accusing the Federal Ministry of Health being at the lead of the attempt causing a lot of disharmony in the health sector.




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