The Health Sector Headship Tussle By Olaoluwa Adeleke Olusegun

On 11/Jan/2015 / In Articles

 
We cannot trample upon the humanity of others without devaluing our own. 
 
He who will hold another down in the mud must stay in the mud to keep him down Please, can an educator or someone who had a bachelor degree in education claim to always be the most qualified for VC, DVC, provost, registrar, deans, hods of a university restraining others from attaining such positions? 
 
a. Headship of; (i). Medical Laboratory Science Service (ii). Radiography (iii) Optometry etc, where Physicians are imposed as perpetual heads over other Professionals such as Medical Laboratory Scientists, Optometrists, Radiographers and others. Since no profession is superior to another neither anyone inferior to the other we disagree with this recommendation for the following reasons: 
 
i. It negates the provisions of the individual regulatory body. 
ii. It is also contrary to the provision of schemes of service In use in the federation and public service rules on seniority. In order to promote industrial peace and Professional autonomy, I strongly recommend that each of the recognized profession be allowed to have its own substantive head of department contrary to the recommendation that the Pathologist shall be the full Head of department while Medical Laboratory Scientist shall be Technical head. This is unacceptable. Pathology is not a profession. Medical Lab Sci is a profession. Far be it from us that practitioners of a profession become answerable to practitioners of an ordinary specialised field of medicine. b. National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NIC) had ruled expressly that there is no conflict between MDP and MLSCN Acts. Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Health and all Tertiary Hospitals should obey the Court judgement and implement it to the letter without further delay. Anything short of this will amount to disrespect of Court judgement, contempt of the Court and invitation to anarchy. 
 
Who is medically qualified? Medicine is the science, art, and craft of understanding suffering, its causes, and its remedies. Its skillful practice is not limited to any one profession, geographic locale, historical period, or ethnic group. It does not require its practitioners to be of any particular religious or spiritual practice.
 
 
The phrase "medically qualified" as contained in section 5(2) of the Teaching Hospital Act which provides that the Chief Medical Director should be a person that is medically qualified. From all available definitions locally, nationally and internationally, we have discovered that the term medically qualified is defined as follows; 
i. By American Legal Institute it is defined as (a) Physician, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Medical Technicians or any person who is recognized by American law as carrying blood and urine in the Hospital. American Legal Institute. 
ii. Section 8(6) of the Teaching Hospital Act refers to medically qualified person namely; Medical Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Mid-Wives etc. 
iii. The Mac Milan dictionary defines it as Medical Doctors, Nurses and other Medical workers. May be one will need to remove the word MEDICAL from medical lab science profession. 
 
I would love to know who is more medically qualified between a physician who refuse to specialise or the one who specialised in wrong field and at the end of the day, all his entire role is to take medical history and guess who should be better called medical historian and others such as: Medical laboratory scientists whose roles according to MLSCN act no 11, 2003 involves the analysis of human tissues, body fluids, excretions, production of biologicals, design and fabrication of equipment for the purpose of medical lab diagnosis, treatment and research and includes medical microbiology, clinical chemistry, chemical pathology, haematology, blood transfusion science, virology, histopathology, histochemistry, immunology, cytogenetic, exfoliative cytology, parasitology, forensic science, molecular biology, laboratory management. 
 
. A physician can only be guessing and waste many lives without the consultation of this professionals because the fight against diseases and ill health can only be won or lost in the medical laboratory. 
. A Nurse, according to oxford concise medical dictionary is a person trained and experienced in nursing matters and entrusted with the care of the sick and the carrying out of medical and surgical routines. Please how can we remove the word medical and surgical from this definition? Not only that. Explain to me how a Physician knows how to care for the sick than this professional? 
. A Pharmacist according to oxford concise medical dictionary is a person who is qualified by examination and registered and authorised to dispense medicines or to keep open a shop for the sale and dispensing of medicines. I need somebody to tell me how a Physician will claim to know about drugs more than this professionals who have acquired in-depth knowledge of pharmacodynamics, pharmacognosy, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, pharmacy? Optometrists are healthcare professionals who provide primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. 
. An optometrist is not a medical doctor. An optometrist receives a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three years or more years of college. They are licensed to practice optometry, which primarily involves performing eye exams and vision tests, prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, detecting certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases. Then I wonder why physicians are having serious headache over the word \"doctor\" of optometry. Radiographers take images of the insides of patients’ bodies to diagnose injury or disease. They also care for and treat people with cancer. 
. Radiographers look after people who are unwell or in pain, and may be anxious or uncertain about what is going to happen. They use their wide range of skills and training to deliver a sensitive, patient-focused healthcare service in imaging and radiotherapy. Radiographers use high-tech, expensive equipment and are an important part of a large medical team.
. Physiotherapists help and treat people with physical problems caused by illness, accident or ageing. It sees human movement as central to the health and well-being of individuals and identify and maximise movement through health promotion, preventive healthcare, treatment and rehabilitation. A physiotherapist's core skills include manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and the application of electro-physical modalities. They also have an appreciation of psychological, cultural and social factors influencing their clients. And several other medical professionals with well defined roles that are not mentioned here. 
 
The lazy ones blabbing among physicians are yet to see the storms coming as Nigeria government begins to appreciate the traditional and alternative healthcare providers. 
 
The current leaders of JOHESU are not as resolute as their young members who will soon certainly get to the leadership positions. 
 
By Olaoluwa Adeleke Olusegun (Oluomo) 
An avid advocate for an egalitarian society 

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