Medical lab scientists accuse doctors of mismanaging hospitals
Irked by what they referred to as “a fallacious article purportedly emanating from Nigerian Medical Association (NMA)”, medical laboratory scientists under the aegis of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) have urged Nigerians “ to stand up against the overbearing attitude of the Nigerian medical doctors and tell them the naked truth that they have mismanaged themselves, the medical team as well as the hospital.”
According to a statement signed by AMLSN President, Mr Toyosi Raheem and Public Relations Officer, Mr.Tam Adetunji and made available to The Guardian, the medical laboratory scientists urged medical doctors to “abide by the recent judicial pronouncements in favour of medical laboratory scientists and or other professionals in health sector or risk imprisonment for contempt of court.”
The statement is a response of the recent media outburst titled Public Hospitals Are Dead, Doctors Warn where NMA urged her members not to use any medical tests not signed by either pathologists or radiologists.
The statement read in part: “Nigerians should now clearly know who has killed or is killing the public hospitals and making health services to be out of reach of the masses. Health services which are inalienable rights or social services to the masses by any caring governments at all levels, are now being recommended for privatisation and commercialisation by NMA, out of selfish interest, ego and disregard for professionalism in health sector.
“The strong advocacy for PPP (public-private partnership) by NMA is perhaps to make some of the NMA members richer through commissions and inducements which such private investors usually give them as a reward for sending patients (or patients’ samples) to private laboratories, X-ray centers, pharmacies etc.
Some of them would not even refer patients to centres that would not give them returns in form of rebates or commissions. This, usually, is at the expense of the poor masses. That could be a major reason why the public hospitals are being killed by members of NMA.
They are in actual fact, the ones killing the public hospitals. Yet, they cry foul that the public hospitals are dead! Some of them even refer cases that could be rather managed in Nigeria to foreign hospitals due to likely commissions for patronage. Thus, encouraging and promoting unnecessary and avoidable medical tourism. Insistence on their rights and privileges by other professionals in the health sector cannot be attributable to death of public hospitals as NMA attempted to portray.”
The statement continued: “NMA went ultra vires in their write-ups directing their colleagues not to use results of completed medical laboratory tests performed, reviewed and signed by licensed medical laboratory scientists but not counter-signed by pathologists who professionally, contributed nothing to the generation of such results.
“Let Nigerians ask NMA to display the law that empowers them to conduct laboratory tests, sign laboratory results or supervise medical laboratories. Nigerians should also ask them if they are registered and licensed by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) to do the work of medical laboratory scientists. As it stands today, only MLSCN is saddled with the task of inspection, monitoring, accrediting, and regulating the practice of medical laboratory science in both public and private hospitals in Nigeria.
“Funny enough, the enabling law for Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), which is the regulatory body for all medical doctors in Nigeria, does not give MDCN power to inspect, monitor or accredit clinics and hospitals (which they should have requested to have, at least, to flush out substandard hospitals and clinics that are daily killing innocent Nigerians). Yet, pathologists through NMA, erroneously deceived Nigerians that MDCN had power to regulate clinical laboratory practice whereas the MDCN law only empowers them to regulate clinical laboratory practicals for the purpose of teaching medical students in the field of pathology.
“While we are aware that NMA is attempting to alter the word Practicals in their enabling law to practice, we anxiously await them to do that and use the wrath of the laws of the land to sweep them to prison for attempted forgery and twisting the law of the land to achieve illegal goal for their members. NMA and her cohorts must be told that there is always an end to impunity.
“The fact is that, medical laboratory scientists and other health professionals are distinct and separate from medical doctors whose profession is medicine/surgery. It has been clearly pronounced by various courts of competent jurisdictions that the era when medical doctors treat other health professionals as ‘errand boys’ and ‘girls’ or ‘slaves’ is gone and gone forever and that every profession, especially Medical Laboratory Science is separate, distinct and autonomous from medicine/surgery; capable of administering, supervising and heading their practice.”