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Lagos pharmacists urge National Assembly to catalyse provisions in medical centre, teaching hospital bill


PSN wants FG to engage community pharmacies for successful national COVID-19 testing, vaccination strategy
Pharmacists in Lagos under the aegis of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Lagos branch have called on the National Assembly to catalyse provisions in the emerging Federal Medical Centre (FMC) and Federal Teaching Hospital (FTC) Bill.

Chairman, Gbolagade Iyiola, in an address to the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of PSN Lagos State Branch, said top on what the Society wants to be speedily reflected in the Bill include: Every FMC and FTC must have a Chief Executive who shall be a healthcare professional with a postgraduate specialty in Administration/Management or a seasoned Administrator/Manager of cognate experience provided they have at least fifteen years experience in hospital based practice.

Iyiola said the AGM was tailored to prescribe some remedies to the Federal Government against the background of an unending cycle of delinquence, which pervades Nigeria’s health sector.

Iyiola’s critical appraisal focused on two contemporary subject matters: the Federal Medical Centre Bill and quest for compelling health reforms.

He said a strong case for comprehensive health reforms to radically change the unfruitful and draconian structure imposed by the obnoxious University Teaching Hospital Decree 10 of 1985 was strongly canvassed by change agents led by Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU)/​Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) at a Public Hearing under the auspices of the House Committee on Healthcare Services, on March 10, 2021.

Iyiola said the PSN Lagos State Branch puts on record the dreadful output of the Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of the Federal Health Institutions (FHIs) who can be likened to failed entrepreneurs in the otherwise serious business of hospital enterprise in Nigeria.

The pharmacist said thirty-five years of the leadership of physicians in Nigeria’s health sector has produced the challenge of a seemingly intractable negative health index including unduly high infant mortality, very heavy under-five infants and maternal mortality, fake drug syndrome, collapsing and decadent health infrastructure.

The PSN also want complete departure from the unenviable status quo of having eight permanent slots reserved for medical practitioners in a board structure of 13 members, which has only facilitated a Nigerian mode of healthcare, which permits the position of one profession to dominate and enslave other professions in a multidisciplinary sector.

The pharmacists propose a new composition of Governing Board of the FMCs and FTHs which shall be constituted as reflected: a Chairman appointed by the President of Nigeria; the Chief Executive of the Hospital; the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (C-MAC); a representative of the Federal Ministry of Health not below the level of a Director; a representative of Professional Associations including PSN, National Association of Nurses and Midwives in Nigeria (NANMN), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA); representative of other health professions; a representative each of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC); two members to represent public interest; and the Director of Administration of the hospital who shall be Secretary to the board.

Iyiola said the PSN Lagos State Branch finds it necessary to draw the attention of overnment at the highest level to alerts from the auspices of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), which is the umbrella template of practising pharmacists at global level to recent exploits of community pharmacists around the world.

The pharmacist called on the Federal Government to re-evaluate the totality of the operational plan dominant on the country’s ailing health system. He said the sinking ship of Nigeria’s failed health sector could still be rescued by an urgent rejig through maximising the potentials of all health workers in the best interest of consumers of health.

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