The Young Medical Laboratory Scientists Forum (YMLSF) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to review the membership composition of the health sector reforms committee in order to pave way for the inclusion of health regulatory councils in the reforms committee.
The YMLSF made the call in Calabar yesterday, calling on the president to correct the anomaly.
A statement jointly signed by its national president, Mr Emmanuel Nkumah and the national secretary, Mr Jegede Suleiman in Calabar said as medical scientists they were shocked that their interest was never protected.
They said they were miffed that the composition was done to favor a particular group of health professionals, without taking into cognizance that they too had been contributing their quota to national development.
The medical scientists demanded the inclusion of critical health regulatory councils in the reforms committee.
The 25 -man committee which is led by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo has 18 members who are physicians, one member each from the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria and National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives. The other three members, though critical stakeholders are non-health workers.
According to the release, “We are deeply worried at the alarming number of physicians on the health reform team as we observed that the Nigerian health sector is made up of over 10 core healthcare stakeholders which include the Medical Laboratory Scientists, Nurses, Radiographers, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Dieticians, Health Informatics, and others.”
They called for the inclusion of health regulatory councils such as Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, Pharmacist Council, Nursing Council, Radiographers, among others stressing that it is an opportunity where they can bring their expertise to bear.
They maintained that the principle of equity, fairness and justice demands that critical stakeholders must be treated equally including patients’ rights advocates, membership should
be drawn from all stakeholders including but not limited to all health professionals and ancillary staff groups/unions in the sector.
“It is our utmost desire that the reform committee comes up with solutions that will finally lay to rest the challenges in the health sector but the number of physicians to other health workers ratio is unsuitable and may hamper on any resolution that may arise from the committee.
“We, therefore, recommend that representative of health regulatory councils such as the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria, Pharmacist Council, Nursing Council, Radiographers, and Physiotherapist Council be included to step up the numbers of other health workers on the reform committee and bring their expertise to bear.
“We recommend that representatives of core health professional associations omitted on the team such as Physiotherapists and Radiographers be added for equity and more robust discussion.
“That a representative each from young affiliated health groups such as the Young Medical Laboratory Scientists Forum, Young Pharmacist group be added to bring in their energy and intelligence to bear.
“Inclusion of certified health economists, in-country WHO recognized consultants on in-vitro diagnostics, and other relevant experts in emerging thematic areas in the health sector shall help the committee to achieve its goal.