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NMA tasks JOHESU on improving health sector

By Dan-Maryam Zayamu

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has called on the members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to join forces with its members to improve the health condition of Nigerians.
NMA made the call in a statement signed by its President, Innocent Ujah and Secretary General, Dr Philips Uche Ekpe, in Abuja, Sunday.
The statement was in reaction to the comments made by members of JOHESU after the Senate Public hearing on Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill SB. 480 and four other Bills.
The bill (SB. 480) seeks to repeal and re-enact the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act Cap M8. LFN 2004, which was enacted by Decree 23 of 1988 and amended by Decree 78 of 1992.
It would be recalled that after the public hearing, the JOHESU held a press conference threatening that it will soon embark on strike action if the Bill was not suspended insisting that it does not agree with some sections of the bill.  “NMA wishes to invite JOHESU members to join forces with the Medical and Dental Practitioners to improve the health circumstances of our people  rather than threatening to go on strike for the wrong reasons at any slightest flimsy excuses,” the NMA said.
While explaining the sections of the bill which the JOHESU said they were not comfortable with, the NMA said: “The complaint that S.45 (3) (e) seeks to enable doctors and nurses to usurp the duties of pharmacists is misconstrued especially when viewed on the background of the preceding S.45 (3) (d). The two paragraphs read: “(d). Only a registered pharmacist shall dispense medicines prescribed by a registered medical practitioner or dental surgeon. (e). “Nothing in the foregoing shall preclude a registered medical practitioner or dental surgeon, or a registered nurse under the supervision of a doctor or dentist, from providing medicines in the absence of a registered pharmacist.
“It is clear that the Bill while upholding the right of the registered pharmacist, only seeks to enable doctors and nurses use medication on patients in the course of their duties where it is very reasonable and conscionable not to have a pharmacist around.
“For example, the use of anaesthetic agents during an operation, emergency drugs in the Intensive Care Unit, an emergency room or in the ward.”
The NMA reiterated that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill is intended to further strengthen the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria in regulating the medical and dental professions to protect the public by ensuring that registered medical practitioners and dental surgeons are competent persons who practice safe, ethical, and responsible medicine.
“We fully support the Bill and call upon members of the Professions Allied to Medicine and Dentistry and members of the public in general to support the Bill for the advancement of quality healthcare delivery in Nigeria,” the NMA said.

Written by ExpressDay

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