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Nigerian Medical Association Takes Swipe At Nurse Consultants In Its Letter To Sgf Labeling Consultant Pharmacist Cadre A Danger To The Health System

Nigeria Student Forum / Educational News / Nurses Arena / Nigerian Medical Association Takes Swipe At Nurse Consultants In Its Letter To Sgf Labeling Consultant Pharmacist Cadre A Danger To The Health System

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Adelani Temiloluwa
School Of Nursing Ondo
Nursing Student
300Level, Nigeria.
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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) received with utmost concern the release of a Circular on Consultant Pharmacist Cadre by the Head of Service of the Federation. A critical review of the circular shows that the procedure for the release of the Circular has not followed any known process of professional career progression in the Civil Service of Nigeria. We are particularly worried about the domain for which the newly created cadre is expected to operate because it would be absurd if it is meant for the hospitals. Best global practice is that the Consultant Status in any Hospital setting is reserved for a specialist physician/dental surgeon with requisite postgraduate training, knowledge and experience, who can be appointed as a Consultant in a SPECIFIC specialty of Medicine so as to take overall responsibility over a patient he/she admitted.

An in-depth study of the said circular showed that it is riddled with many aberrations:

(2)The Circular is capable of creating disruption in the health Care delivery in the Hospital, as it blurs the line of competences and responsibilities among the different cadres and professions in the Health Care Industry. A previous anomalous apponitment of a 'Consultant Nurse' in one of the Federal Teaching Hospital without job description made the Nurse to order an inspection of a wound prematurely against the Consultant Surgeon's instructions.

(3) The Circular was released to take immediate effect with out job description or Scheme of Service and perhaps, hastily done in anticipation that the Scheme of Service would be produced, therefore working from the answer. This is like putting the cart before the horse in this time and age.

(4) The Circular did not state the qualification(s) for appointment into the post, nor categories of pharmacist to occupy this post. More intriguing Is the absence of any known established processes towards the attainment o Consultant Status of a Pharmacist

(5) The absence of extant laws created for the recognition amid acceptance of fellowship of Pharmacy as a qualification that guarantees career progression of Pharmacists to the Consultant Status in Nigeria. Evidence of the Law that establishes a training Institution for the postgraduate College of Pharmacy in Nigeria which awards Fellowship in Pharmacy before Pharmacists could be eligible for a Consultant position in Nigeria would strengthen this circular whose originality is very weak both law and clinical practice.

(6) The Consultant Status conferred on Pharmacists by the Office of the - Head of Service of Nigeria should be very explicit about what type of Consultants they will be. Is it that they will be Consultant to the Ministry of Health or to the Factories where drugs are manufactured?

(7) The Communique of the meeting of the 41st National Council on Establishment (NCE) held in November, 2019 at Asaba, Delta State which was cited in the release has no such resolution, but rather referred "issues of this type to the meeting of thc Council that was to take place in first quarter of 2020 in Lagos State, which to our knowledge never held.

(8) We therefore, advise that the implementation of this Circular should be suspended and the Circular withdrawn with immediate effect in view of the fact that a similar aberrant circular released in Lagos State in the recent past was withdrawn because it was discovered to be disruptive of the Health Care Delivery to the patients, and indeed had no basis both in Law and in clinical care in Nigeria.

(9) The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) cannot standby to watch the chase being created by those who wish the health system to collapse under this administration. This will be stoutly resisted!

(10)1t remains the responsibility of the NMA to protect the health of the citizens and in view of the damaging effects the introduction of the cadre in the Hospital setting will have on the patients, we appeal that the implementation of the Circular be suspended forthwith.

(11) We also suggest that introduction of new criteria into the Health sector should involve full engagement of all key stakeholders of which our association is the frontliner.

(12) Finally, we wish to advise the Government to—build public Pharmaceutical companies where the pharmacists could apply their skills and potentials because drug production and formulation constitute their primary professional competences.

Professor (Dr) Innocent AO Ujah FNMA, INAMed, President, NMA

Dr Uche Philips Ekpe Seartary General

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