The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Lagos Chapter, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, sign the Pharmacy Bill into law before the expiration of the life of the current administration.
Chairman, Lagos PSN, made the call in an address she presented to the 2019 annual luncheon of the group held at Sheraton Hotel, Lagos recently.
Pharm. (Mrs.) Adeniran said the call had become necessary against the backdrop of fears that the bill would technically cease to exist after May 29, 2019 if the President Buhari does not give assent to the laudable bill.
She said, “If this happens, then efforts and resources wasted at the 8th National Assembly will commence all over at a 9th National Assembly. The dire consequences if this happens includes but not limited to deterioration in the dangerous drug abuse and misuse challenges in Nigeria with an over-riding socio-economic implications for the country.
“The potential of a devastating falsified medicines syndrome with the propensities of increased fatality rate, and therapeutic failure against the background of an almost collapsed and non-existent health system; A seeming deliberate attempt to negate the attempts to actualise the goals of accessibility, affordability and efficacy of drugs available in the drug distribution chain of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It amounts to an endorsement of an unauthorised drug distribution and in fact an outright jeopardisation of the new National Drug Distribution Guidelines which officially took off about five years ago with little or no impact till date.”
She said that in the light of the salient factors and others time would not permit to reiterate, the PSN strongly appeals to President Buhari to kindly heed to the clarion call of pharmacists under the aegis of the various arms in organised pharmacy practice to give assent to the Pharmacy Bill which had been pending for well over 18 months.
“It is the only proactive measure to attain Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) an ideal the rest of the decent world is committed to,” she stated.
On the welfare of Public Sector Health Workers, Adeniran said, “We wish to make yet another frantic call on the Presidency to intervene in the unending cycle of delinquency that continues to short-circuit fruitfulness and productivity of health workers under the banner of JOHESU.
“The PSN (Lagos) finds it necessary to specially congratulate JOHESU and its major chieftains for successfully pushing through some modest gains at the mediation process of Alternate Dispute Resolution Centre of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN). It is particularly instructive that the NICN has given these resolutions some force through its consent.”
She enumerated some of the specific resolutions agreed to by the Federal Government and JOHESU to include adoption of central internship placement of eligible health professionals through the Federal Ministry of Health and Maintenance of the status quo with regards skipping of CONHESS 10 by JOHESU members.
“Payment of all arrears of JOHESU members through liaison of the Federal Ministry of Health with CMDs/MDs, PICA and IPPS; Tackling of employment deficit of JOHESU member after a staff audit; and compliance with extant position of the law in the appointment of CMDs/MDs.”
Others are adoption of the report of the five-man committee on the payment of Specialist Allowances which is to be implemented by the Health Minister; Streamlining of board appointments in the FHIs, including the need to administratively redress the complaints of PSN and NASU who did not have nominees appointed on any of the boards.
JOHESU admonished the Federal Government to appoint nominees of PSN and NASU on the boards of the National Eye Centre and National Ear Centre which were still pending in same respect; Agreement that the retirement age of health workers be reviewed by the National Council of Establishment (NCE) through a fresh memo.
This move will be backed with advocacy by all concerned; additional demands bordering on welfare of JOHESU Members are to be subjected to the sub-committee on JOHESU critical Labour matters; Parties to the agreement resolved that the implementation of court judgment is not subject to the discretion of any of the parties, she said.
In view of these landmark developments, Adeniran said; “We call on the Presidency to give speedy approvals to all pending challenges including adjustment of CONHESS scale which has been pending for 5 years now; Payment of April and May 2018 salaries of JOHESU members which have been withheld by the outgoing Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole.
The rest are; “Approval of the Consultancy Cadre for pharmacists and other eligible health workers; and comprehensive reforms in healthcare through an amended University Teaching Hospital Act,” she stated.
Speaking on developments, she said that since the last luncheon, the PSN (Lagos) has deployed its resources into new investments which run into significant tens of millions in Naira terms.
“We have bought a befitting Toyota bus, a 100KVA Generator and moved the main Secretariat annex to the finishing stages.
“I will therefore invoke the giving spirit inherent in all of you colleagues, sponsors, players and partners because this is what motivates our annual luncheon which is the main fund raising event of the state branch.”