A bill aiming to redefine the credentials of heads of university teaching hospitals in Nigeria was rejected on Thursday by medical professionals working under the auspices of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria.
Bamidele Salam, a member of the National Assembly who represents the Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State, is the bill’s sponsor. The bill seeks to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards etc.) Act Cap U15 LFN 2004.
The bill, among other things, aims to: Change the title of the Head of Tertiary Health Institutions in Nigeria from Chief Medical Director; Redefine the qualification of the Head of Tertiary Hospitals; Provide a clear term of office for the Heads of Tertiary Hospitals; Include students of Health Sciences in the training programs of Tertiary Hospitals; Include hospitals established after the enactment of the existing legal framework in the schedule, and also restructure the composition of the Governing Boards of the Federal Government Tertiary Hospitals
However, MDCAN warned that approving the measure would pose hazards to the operation of the nation’s tertiary health institutions in a statement made available on Thursday.
The significance of medically governed healthcare organizations was also emphasized in the declaration.
The statement added that the sponsor of this Bill may need to be reminded that managing a tertiary hospital has never been a popular contest anywhere in the world, just as no military establishment has ever given its commands (like the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, or Chief of Defence Staff) to non-combatant support staff because of their potential numerical advantage.
The Association said that there are defined tasks for each professional working in hospitals, and hospital managers should be empowered and encouraged to ensure that each professional working in the Tertiary Hospitals has the proper job descriptions and that those job descriptions are properly followed.
They also stated that they would hold themselves accountable if they do nothing but watch the Nigerian health industry decline due to the unquenchable desires of a muddled collection of power-hungry medical professionals.
The Association urged the National Assembly to reject this objectionable Bill and work with key stakeholders to enact legislation that would provide all Nigerians with high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services.