Thursday, 21 July 2022

Hospital Bill: CPAN Criticizes MDCAN, APCOM for Prioritizing Personal Interests Over Patients' Needs

By Ucheoma Umeha

Ogun




The Clinical Pharmacists Association of Nigeria (CPAN) has criticized the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) and Association of Provosts of Colleges of Medicine in Nigeria (APCOM) saying their support for amendment of the University Teaching Hospitals neglects patients needs.

Remember that MDCAN and APCOM, in their recent press statements on the Bill titled: ‘A Bill For an Act to Amend the University Teaching Hospitals ( Reconstitution of Boards) Act, Cap U15 LFN 2004’ is seeking that medical practitioners only should be the CEOs of tertiary hospitals.

CPAN position spoke in a statement signed by Dr. Joseph Madu, CPAN’s National Chairman and Dr. Moteehat Bukkie Olu-Lawal, its national secretary, noting the proposed bill is tailored to meet personal interests than patients' needs adding, that  Nigerians deserve optimal healthcare that fits global best practices.

The statement partly reads, "The Clinical Pharmacists Association Of Nigeria (CPAN) hereby places on record her total condemnation of the position of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association Of Nigeria (MDCAN) , and the Association Of Provosts Of Colleges Of Medicine in Nigeria ( APCOM) over their recent Press statements on the Bill titled: "A bill for an Act to amend the University Teaching hospitals ( Reconstitution of Boards) Act, Cap U15 LFN 2004."

The Bill was sponsored by Hon.Bamidele Salam , representing Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency.

"CPAN is a registered corporate body of Clinical pharmacists in Nigeria (and in diaspora) with the fundamental aims and objectives to provide direct healthcare to individual patients and the general population through advanced Clinical Pharmacy services.  We believe that Nigerian people deserve and should get optimal healthcare that fits global best practices, and that achieving this goal should override any other chauvinistic professional interests and considerations."

The Bill was sponsored by Hon. Bamidele Salam, representing Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency is to amend the usurpation and disparity among health workers.

While urging MDCAN and APCOM to prioritize patients/community interests over personal gains, the chairman asserted that the statements credited to both MDCAN and APCOM in various News media recently about the health bill, claiming that Physician led hospitals are universally better managed than non physician led hospitals, is baseless and unfounded. “We hereby state that such claims lack verifiable evidence and are aimed at misinforming the general public and our lawmakers.”

He went further to explain that CPAN is not opposed to any particular healthcare professional group members being the heads of Nigeria's university teaching tertiary hospitals, but deeply concerned about the continued deleterious outcome of sacrificing competence and merit on the altar of ego of a certain group of Nigeria's health care Professionals.

While pointing the continued decadence and downward trend of the critical comparable health indicators in Nigeria for several decades now is the strongest evidence against status-quo; he challenged stakeholders: “Now is the time to change; we cannot continue to do the same things the same way and expect a different result. The Health Bill in reference should be appropriated and allowed to be passed after a constructive debate on the floor of the Nigeria National Assembly. Our national health indices represent a national embarrassment to us Nigerians in the committee of nations. The issue should also be about global best practices in the right sense of the clause as quoted by APCOM and MDCAN in several press releases.”

On who gets appointed for the headship of hospital, the national chairman asserted that what is proper is that physicians who get such apex appointments should be hired based on merit and competence, and not based on their first degree, as this is not the practice anywhere in the world. The criteria are qualifications and cognate experience.

“The position of the Chief Medical Director is indisputably a top management position, and not a direct patient care or clinical position. Generally, anyone vying for the position of headship of hospitals must have the relevant qualifications. It could be a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Masters in Health Management, Masters in Health Administration or Masters in Medical Management or other equivalent administrative postgraduate qualifications.” He added.

He commended the National Assemble for the good works they are doing on the bill, Dr Madu advocates that the National Assembly should as a matter of urgency and necessity as well as of obligation, amend and pass the bill as sponsored by Hon. Salam in the interest of Nigerians. 

According to him, this would usher in growth, competition, comparison, and leapfrogging of Nigeria's health index on the international space.

“No well exposed and informed, except a selfish person and an enemy of health seeking Nigerians, will oppose such a laudable proposed bill by our lawmakers,” the CPAN boss added.

Citing examples of hospital headship across the globe for a clue, he mentioned Karen Davis, a nurse who the CEO of St. Thomas Hospital, Ontario, Canada; Gladys Bogoshi, a Physiotherapist is the current CEO of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (Wits University), and many more.

He concluded by advising MDCAN and APCOM to concentrate their efforts on finding credible individuals to assist clean up the stench in the health sector rather than trying to undermine the health bill, which he claimed was intended to be beneficial for everyone.

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