Monday, 20 April 2015

The Unending Rivalry Between Our Health Professionals

The unhealthy rivalry between Nigerian health professionals is like a monster with several heads; cut one and another springs up in its place. The seemingly common goal of all health workers is ensuring doctors don't have monopoly over being hospital administrators by any means necessary.

During a congratulatory visit to General Buhari, medical radiographers under the aegis of Association of Radiographers of Nigeria (ARN) and physiotherapists under the umbrella of the Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) urged the President-elect to help to curb professional rivalry in the medical sector by appointing a health manager/administrator to head hospitals, just like when he was Head of State in several statements like:

"Radiographers in Nigeria wish to urge you to discountenance the recently submitted Yayale Ahmed's committee report on the inter-professional relationship in health. This is because key professional groups in health, such as radiographers were not represented in the committee. The committee's report was hurriedly packaged to satisfy a section of the health professionals. Also, the committee's report is a matter before a court at present."

"Radiographers are group of Health Professionals who utilise different forms of radiant energy for diagnosis and treatment of diseases."

Currently, radiographers in Nigeria can only take images of the insides of patients’ bodies to diagnose injury or disease without much else.  In the Yayale Ahmed's report, they had accused radiologists of not issuing reports on time, which they claimed was largely due to maladministration of the head of the department of radiology. They also made requests to be allowed to scan patients and report their films as done in the advanced countries. 

During the visit, the physiotherapists also asked the President-elect to appoint competent and qualified individuals as Minister and Minister of State for Health- not just doctors.

Anytime soon, we should be expecting the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to also pay a visit to General Buhari to state their 'coded' demands. 

Somehow, it is doubtful GMB's tenure will tolerate strikes from either NMA or JOHESU. The Lagos state "no work, no pay rule" may be enforced as a deterrent.

Really, health workers including doctors should sort their issues out. But this particular bone--is going to have a long grind.

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