Medical, Dental Consultants Seek Streamlining or Health Sector Laws

On 21/Mar/2014 / In Medical News

• May reject lab results not endorsed by pathologists 
From Emeka Anuforo. Abuja MEDICAL professionals yesterday called on the National Assembly to stream-line the various laws regulating medical and related professions in Nigeria to pro- mote greater peace and harmony in the already troubled sector. The practitioners, under the platform of Medical and Dental Consultants' Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), alleged in Abuja the harassment of members by support staff of some tertiary hospitals. They also said medical doctors would not use labora- tory results not appropriately endorsed by specialist medical pathologists. MDCAN Chairman, Dr. Steven Oluwole, told news- men that the support staff, in their quest for autonomy from the traditional hierarchical structure headed by medical consultants, disrupted services in some teaching hospitals and Federal Medical Centres. He listed the hospitals where such disruptions occurred in the past few days to include the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre, Uyo, Fed- eral Medical Centre, Asaba, and the University of JOs Teaching Hospital, among others. "Support staff now carry out duties they are not trained for or recognised by law to perform. Traditional hospital processes have been redefined to suit personal or group aspirations that can only bring anguish to patients and disaster to healthcare delivery," he said. "For example, it was said that pharmacists are the first point of contact for patients seeking healthcare. It has been advertised that patients should see medical laboratory scientists first before seeing medicinal doctors. 
"Laws that conflict with the norms and standard practices of medicine have been enacted through the National Assembly by the support staff. There is a strong clamour for the creation of a separate department by the medical laboratory scientists. 
"Such department will not be under the control of medical doctors and will violate the referral system, which is traditional to good medical practice." Following the above, the MDCAN National Executive Council rose from its emergency meeting in Abuja yesterday with a resolve that "federal and state gavernments, Ministry of Health,as well as boards of management and chief medical directors of hospitals must guarantee the safety of consultants and all medical directors in the hospital environment." 
The body called on members across the country to take necessary actions, including immediate withdrawal of services whenever their lives are threatened by mob action of support staff. It also called for vigorous pursuit of legal redress of relevant issues
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