MEDICAL WORKERS TURN LADOKE AKINTOLA TEACHING HOSPITAL TO WAR COLLEGE

…As CMAC allegedly turns thug

Fejiro Oliver


Medical Lab Scientists allegedly chased out of the Lab



As the battle for the soul of medicine deepens in Nigeria and medical workers flex their muscle in what has been a beauty pageant, the workers from the Medical Laboratory department in Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital (LTH), Ogbomosho got more than what they bargained for at about 4:30pm on Wednesday when the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC), Dr. Olakulehin reportedly came with the hospital security men to drag the Medical Laboratory Scientist (MLS) out of the laboratory in order for the Pathologists to carry out their duties.


According to a source in the hospital, the MLS left the lab and began protest action in front of the Lab, displaying placards to show their disapproval of the happenings in the hospital. As the protest continued, the press crew from the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) drove into the premises to capture the event. As they made to interview the Chairman of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (AMLSN), the CMAC came back from his office to question the press men on what their mission was, thus disrupting the interview.
We gathered that the CMAC and a Consultant from the radiology department Dr. Aremu and other Medical Doctors began to struggle the camera with the press man, while the MLS formed a covering around him to avoid him being beaten, which led to a near fist cuff between the Scientists and the Physicians. 
The battle got fierce as Dr Aremu accosted a Medical Laboratory Scientist holding a Samsung Galaxy tablet, which he thought was being used to film the ugly sight. Our sources stated that attempts by Aremu to take the phone from the victim resulted in him blowing the MLS personnel, who used the phone to defend himself, thus destroying the phone.
Not done with spoiling the phone, the CMAC ran after the MLS worker and held him by the trouser with his hand inside his, like a wanted criminal waist. When the NTA crew finished and made to leave, the CMAC we gathered ordered the security men to shut the gate and held them hostage for one hour, until the News Manager of NTA came to the hospital. The appearance of the News Manager led to a shouting bout as the CMAC told them that their filming the event was illegal. Probably angered by the CMAC word, the Journalist with the camera was asked to “roll the camera” in his word. The words jolted the CMAC who later agreed to grant them interview before allowing them to leave. 
Another source revealed to us that the CMAC, “If you want it in a civilised way I would give it to you, and if you want it in an “NURTW” way I would give it to you”, while threatening to get them sacked.
CMAC denies…
When contacted by our reporter, the CMAC denied ever using security to chase the MLS out of the lab. He stated that the pathologists were supposed to be on call duty, but the lab was denied them access by the Scientist and as the most senior management staff on ground, he had to intervene.
Explaining that the management has been taken to the Court in Ibadan by the Scientists union, and they have urged those who cannot work till the verdict comes out, while their salaries will still be paid to them.
“Doctors were to be taking calls once in week and they are all aware. Now when it is the turn of the doctors to take calls, you refused them entry into the laboratory that they cannot enter. I happen to be the most senior management staff at that material time and I walked in there when it was reported to me that the scientists were obstructing the doctors”
“I told them to leave the lab, they refused; in fact they ignored me for almost ten minutes until the hospital security had to persuade them to leave the place. Now the next thing they did, about one and half hours later were to invite press men into the laboratory”, he explained.
He noted that the intrusion of the pressmen into the lab was unethical to the medical profession, as the pictures that will be taken by the press will show the patient result, as well as their names, thus intruding into the privacy of the patients. This he admitted made him accost the press, demanding from them while they should come into the hospital without the courtesy of informing the hospital management.
The CMAC challenged our reporter to go to other parts of the world and come out with a finding and see if the medical profession is being practiced the way it is done in Nigeria.

 Pathologists taking over the Laboratory
Hospital Security officers who chased the MLS out

 Med. Lab. Scientists protesting
CMAC granting the press interview

The damaged Samsung Galaxy Tablet phone

45 comments

  1. I guess it the fault of the medical lab scientist, why would you stop the doctors doing their job just once a week. As an outsider to these prolong Problems, I have noticed that majority of which is caused by the med lab people. They should just accept the fact that they are there in the lab to help out the pathologist not to take over the pathologist job. But like I noticed, this is Nigeria and rubbish like this happen unlike the USA and UK where these professions are brought from. John Adamu

    1. @John, your comment gave you out as one of them. I doubt if anyone can encroach on any doctor's consulting room and there would not be fracas even for 5minutes, so how do you expect the MLSs not to prevent the doctors engaging in illegal activities in the lab? I bet you doctors in US and UK will not go so low to chase MLS out of the lab and be dragging camera from press men if they are fighting a just cause

  2. If the person blaming lab scientist is well acquainted with the operations of professionals in the medical sector, he should know that resident doctors are just students(pathologists -in-training). They do not have the licence to practise nor issue results. If they want to learn, let them learn in their offices (or lab), not to receive, process and issue results from patients. THAT IS OUTRIGHT QUACKERY.

    1. "he should know that resident doctors are just students(pathologists -in-training)"……….imagine, I tink u must be suffering from schizophrenia or u guys ar suffering for inferiority complex whic u ar tryin to compensate for

    2. Ignorance is a disease that must be cured. Resident doctors are certified MBBS holders and are Doctors not students. Only people with IQ of less than 50 will talk that way.

    3. Mr IQ greater than 50! Resident doctors are post graduate student on training! They might be license to practice as a doctor but not yet license pathologist! So untill they become consult after their trainingg they re still student. Even Phd students doing third degree re still call students! Talk less of advance post graduate(partime 4yrs an full time 2yrs advance) diploma students.

  3. Residents are Doctors on further studies, not students as undergraduates. The Medical Lab Scientists should give way for the Doctor/Resident to carry out their duties as stipulated.

  4. Mind you, I am a laboratory technologist working with the NHS not a pathologist. You MLS are the major problem although the pathologists too have some. What is the problem if a pathologist want to make use of the lab, that is also there place of work. Mind you pathologists are actually "laboratory physicians" studying "laboratory medicine" and without them from the days of old we the technologist/scientists will be without a job! Giemsa, Leshiman, Jenner, Wright etc were all physicians and some of them were in fact pathologists. I have been telling you my colleagues that we and the pathologists are working in the same field and our common office is the laboratory. We the technologist/scientists should not lay monopoly to the place. John

    1. Am not sure that routine bench work is duty of a pathologist in where u re working! Or resident doctor talking call an issueinng results, or countersigninig result! Infact u haven't heard what the CMAC did say " the lab belong to the pathologist" is that the situation in ur station there u re working? People here might not see the clear picture! What u re seeeing is a plan by NMA to smuggle in doctors to do bench work in case the next week impending strike still goes on.

  5. Resident doctors are not students.They are full-fleged doctors going on special training. Hence the term "specialist trainee"…I think we the MLS people need to get informed more so we can make adequate judgement and not be sentimental in this issue. I was also once like my fellow MLS guys in Nigeria until I travelled out and saw what the normal world is all about! John

    1. Resident doctor are not hospital staffs! They re advance post graduate part time diploma students on training! So they re student! Only when they finish their training an becomes consultant, they re either retain by their training institution or seek employment somewhere as staff! So untill then, the idea of chasing of chasing out a staff to make way for students to do call is a total nonsense.

  6. The problem I see is that there is no clear definition of roles. If the residents in training and the mls can be at loggerheads the issue is that there is some conflict of interests which is based on unclear delineation of roles. The CMAC should recognise this and mediate resolution which encompasses a clear understanding of what each person's job is

  7. By the special grace of God, the sweat of doctors ( pathologists) who set up these hospital labs will not be in vain. Can you imagine being chased out of your own property by an usurper? When did these mls came into existence set? They even chase out lab technologists and technicians, this is what happens when you allow the housemaid to prepare and serve your husband's food. In a matter of time she would chase the madam of the house! Wonders shall never end…….

  8. MLS are at the mercy of a doctor in the health sector. How? u may asked. if all the CMDs in Nigeria decide to stop employing the MLS and settle for LAB.TECH who equally can do the work even more better than the MLS. A time will come MLS will completely phase out of teaching hospitals. MLS takes the lab as their soul right, they don't allow neither lab tech nor doctors, into the lab. they shd know that the best place for them is research institute rather than doing monotonous work of reading PCV for 35years. MLS shd also know that most lab work are being automated and even a monkey can equally do the work if pass tru the routine for 2dayz. with this fact they shd try and drop this thing called EGO!!!

    1. Mr fejiro,I think u should also respond to all dis comments,I think ure better informed now. I'm neither a pathologist nor a lab scientist,but I think dis writer is biased. He should just check out d roles of pathologist in lab medicine ND he can keep quite

    2. Imagine this nonsense! No one is at the mercy of anyone! Who even said that the CMD must be a doctor! Does the CMD have the power employ who he like or the quarter given to him by FMOH? If u re suggesting that MLT can do a better work than MLS perhaps a nurse or phyisicain assitance can equally do a better job than doctor! Talking about robot, pls do ur research well u wil also discover that there are robotic surgery an computer dignostic machine that diagnosis patience an prescrip drug! Unlike any lab robot that will still rely on MLs for quality control an so many other things.

  9. doctors all over Nigeria shd c this fight as a fight against doctors rather than a fight against the LAB Physicians. their plan is that after capturing the lab, they will go for CMDship.

  10. The writer of of this article is biase. iam not surprised because the MLS must have greased the writer palm. MLS are known for this.

  11. I don't think dis should result in a fight, the pathologist in lab medicine are d key to clinical diagnoses. We only generate results for them,our roles can't be same. I'm a lab scientist based in NJ. Pls I jst want to enjoin my colleagues back home to allow peace in d best interest our patients.

  12. Nobody should hide under anonymous status to be claiming being a Med. Lab. Scientist yet still be damaging the image of his profession. If truly you're MLS kindly use your real name.
    MLS knows those who are theirs.

  13. That fellow blaming Medical Laboratory Scientists should better remain anonymous because he's obviously IGNORANT of the law of this country which recognizes MLS as the ONLY group of professionals LICENSED to practice Medical Laboratory sciences in Nigeria. How dare you refer to MLS as "assisting the pathologist"? Mr. anonymous, pls get your facts straight next time before making a comment. Everyone in the hospital have their distinctive line of relevance. Imagine a situation where an MLS walks into the consulting room or operating theatre……………. If that is not acceptable then why should it be the other way round? What is good for the goose………
    The only people fighting a just course here are the MLS. We're not asking for something to be given to us, we're only saying that do not take away that which already belongs to us under the law. FIGHT ON DEAR COLLEAGUES, TRUTH SHALL PREVAIL.

    1. Peter, if a part of MLS has a role to play in the operating theatre or clinics, why won't they enter? The focus is the patient. Social workers enter the ward and work with Doctors, Psychologist work with doctors (psychiatrists) at the clinics, Pathologist should also work with Lab tech, MLS etc, no one is taking anything away from you guys, let's all play our role for our patients. Remember that the focus is the patient and not individual power thussle.

    2. Am not aware that MLS are disputing the presence of pathologist in the laboratory! But they re questioning the role this people are trying to play! Rountine bench work is not n is never the duty of the pathologist but that of MLS! Imagine a pathologist under training taking calls n issues results to patients, that is pure quakery! Is there any schme of service that allow resident doctors to do such things?

  14. i think you should first of all apologize to doctors by calling an MBBS holder a student. the curriculum of MLS should be reviewed and a course on discipline added. but i don't blame them some were forced out of med school and they still bear that grudge

  15. It's most unfortunate that some doctors can descend so low to the point of using anonymous cover here to misinform the public an blame the inocent victims MLS! The fact is the priority of the Nigerian doctors is not the patient but to occupy every imaginary position in the hospital an dominate, when others resist such injustice the doctors jump to all the sorrounding roofs around them an start shouting foul. I woner if that MLS had return the blow he refused from th CMAC what wwould be the story.

  16. Pls note! resident doctors specialising in the lab(poathogist in training)! Are not yet license to practice as pathologist untill they finished their training an passed their exams! So the idea of them taking call in the laboratory is nothing short of quackery.

  17. This is part of the reason why other health workers are resisting an challenging doctors leadership! Imagine a CMAC physically assaulting/attacking a staff that is suppose to be equally under the protection of his office infavours of his own colleages from NMA! The same leaerhip style demonstrated by the health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu, side with doctors against other health workkers. Those days will soon over.

  18. It's interesting to note that some doctors often use the word international best practice to make their point using US as their example but often fail short of pointing out that in US CEO/ head of hospital there are not nececesarily doctors! That there are consultant other than doctors! That nurses practice as nurse practionert provided they re train for such task) the very same ideas from US they re kicking against here. So is not surprising if u see doctor fighting other health workers in Nigeria just so they can serve their myopic, selfish, self centered goals. The patients are n will continue to pay the price of all this madness unless every professional in Nigerian hosptial is forced to practice only within his job description as recorded in the scheme of service! An we need a neutral professional administrators to implement that not doctors.

  19. If a CMAC- Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, can behave like an NURTW, then one wonders the type and quality of advice his committee would be given to d Teaching Hospital. Certainly, d advice would be on how to behave as a professional Agbero @ d detriment of quality health services. this CMAC must be sacked outrightly if this was what he thought being d only senior Magt staff entailed. Too bad for him!!!

  20. Should something like this happens to a doctor you will hear the NMA singing a strike song! Press releases an many of their lies, wonder where they re now! They must have being giving this CMAC a thumbs up by now.

  21. o The Nigerian Medical Laboratory Scientists and perhaps some of our MDs and CMDs, including Pathologists need to know the content of Laboratory medicine, as practiced in the developed clime, especially in the UK where we derived our western education. I am currently working in a medical (microbiology) laboratory in the UK, specifically at the University Teaching Hospital Southampton in England. The MLS and Pathologist are working harmoniously. Yes, the bench work is done by the MLS (called Biomedical Laboratory Scientist here). The results generated by the MLS are passed to the Pathologist, who carries out what is called Clinical Validation and then sign out the results to the clinician. Furthermore, the pathologists carry out Bench Rounds where they visit each bench in the laboratory (Twice a week) to technically validate some results and discuss with the Medical Laboratory Scientist on any further investigation(s) as may be necessary. The Standard Operative Procedures (SOPs) for all the laboratory Tests are collectively drafted by the Pathologist and the MLS. Similarly all Medical equipment, kits and reagents are validated technically and clinically by both professional groups before they are deployed for clinical diagnostic purposes. The training pathologists (called resident doctors) in Nigeria, rotate through the laboratory benches to learn basic laboratory techniques, uninterrupted. I have also worked at the Rare and Imported Pathogen Laboratory under Public Health England. This is a Public Health Laboratory similar to NIMR (Nigeria Institute of Medical Research, Yaba), this laboratory has 5 Pathologists (Medical Microbiologists) working with the MLS, technicians etc, carrying out same functions as outlined above. ( Compare this situation to NIMR where there is no Pathologist in their employ!)Given the above information, which are verifiable, you can imagine the absurdity, and level of degeneration the practice of laboratory medicine has become in Nigeria. The Nigerian pathologist need to be more involved, must rise and fight to possess its own possession. The CMDs must defend and enforce the universal practice of laboratory medicine in Nigeria! Kudos to the CMAC of Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital!

  22. THE TRUE PICTURE OF EVENTS IN THE PATHOLOGY DEPARTMENT AT LAUTECH TEACHING HOSPITAL, OGBOMOSOIn view of the several phone calls from all over the country requesting information on the happenings in the Pathology Departments at LTH, Ogbomoso, and deliberate falsehood being propagated by a medical laboratory scientist spokesperson masquerading as a journalist, the MDCAN, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso Branch, deems it fit to set the record straight for the sake of posterity and the future of health care delivery in Nigeria.LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Ogbomoso is a teaching hospital blessed with human resources and equipments for training, research and tertiary level of health care. There are four (4) Pathology Departments in the hospital namely; Histopathology, Haematology, Chemical Pathology and Microbiology in conformity with the norms in older teaching hospitals in Nigeria and all civilized societies.LTH Ogbomoso has never operated “Laboratory Services Department.” Such a Department is alien to the edicts that established Teaching Hospitals in this country. Various Pathology Departments have an established structure. Pathologists are naturally the Head of Pathology Departments. There are other cadres of staff working in those Departments under the direct and strict supervision of Pathologists. The medical laboratory scientists are just one group out of many working under the supervision of the Pathologists. Medical laboratory scientists were not forced out, but were rather put in their rightful place. The agitators among them know very well into which Department they were employed, and they accepted the offer without coercion

  23. About three months ago, the Hospital management received a letter from the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists, which contained among other things – alleged harassment and humiliation of Medical Laboratory Scientists by Doctors, enforcement of an FMC, Asaba Vs Medical Laboratory Scientists ruling from industrial arbitration court, and establishment of a Directorate of Medical Laboratory Services. The Hospital management then summoned a meeting with the Pathologists and Medical Laboratory Scientists. At the meeting, it was reiterated that in a teaching hospital setting, the Directorate of Medical Laboratory Services simply does not fit into the workings and the organogram of the teaching hospital. The management urged the entire staff in the Pathology Departments to work in harmony for the progress of the Hospital and benefits of our patients. During the meeting, none of the Medical Laboratory Scientists objected to the submission of the Chief Medical Director (CMD). The CMD reiterated that Resident Doctors are to take calls and carry out their work without hindrances.On a Wednesday, about eleven (11) weeks ago, both the Consultants and the Residents were physically obstructed from carrying out their duties in Haematology Department by the Medical Laboratory Scientists. This development was dully reported to the management and the HOD of the affected Department issued queries to all the people involved. Shortly after that, the Hospital was literally shut down by JOHESU and ARD industrial action on account of unpaid salaries by the owner State government. While the industrial strike was on, the medical laboratory scientist sought for redress at the industrial arbitration court in Ibadan demanding among other things creation of a Directorate of Medical Laboratory Services.During the last industrial action, the locks to all the laboratories in the Pathology Departments of the hospital were changed in order to safeguard the old equipment and the new equipment donated by a Non-Governmental Organization.The first Wednesday after the commencement of work by the entire work force of the Hospital, the Medical Laboratory Scientists again attempted to obstruct Pathologists and Residents doctors from working on the bench. As a responsible manager, and to forstall breakdown of law and order, the CMAC, in the company of the DA requested the Scientists to vacate the blood bank, but they were reluctant. They had to be helped out by the security officers in the hospital after ignoring all entreaties. About two hours later, the Medical Laboratory Scientists brought uniformed NTA crew into the blood bank recording the procedures being carried out by the Pathologists, not mindful of the confidentiality of the patients’ specimen and forms that contained the identities of the patients. The CMAC indeed challenged the NTA crew and pointed out the error which they never admitted. The local Director of NTA came into the scene, attempted to calm nerves, but never admitted the error committed by his men. To set the record straight and for the public’s sake, the CMAC addressed the press and the NTA crew subsequently left the hospital premises.

  24. Pending the court ruling, the position of the management is that any Medical Laboratory Scientist who wishes to work in the Pathology Departments as it is presently constituted is free to do so, and those that have reservations about working under Pathologists should stay away from the Pathology Departments pending the determination of the court case.The Medical Laboratory Scientists on more than one occasion have tried to sabotage the smooth running of the Pathology Departments by holding onto the key to the refrigerator in the blood bank, even when patients were being prepared for emergency surgeries, mislabeling reagents to ensure that laboratory reports issued by Residents Doctors were incorrect and removing functional parts of equipment to ground the Laboratories. All these activities put the lives of patients at risk and the integrity of the Pathology Departments at stake.What the MDCAN members working at LTH Ogbomoso have done so far is to ensure that our Pathology Departments continue to offer residency training, engage in meaningful research and offer service to our patients.The MDCAN (LTH Ogbomoso branch) will like to state that the NMA Chairman and Executives, Oyo State have been properly briefed about the developments in our hospital.We will like to appreciate the Management of LTH, Ogbomoso for the mature manner deployed so far in handling the issues of the Pathologists/Medical Laboratory Scientists. The association will also want to appreciate the hospital management for providing training positions for resident doctors in all the Pathology Departments.

  25. Feliver ejiro,a journalist and laboratory scientist good a giving one sided stories but ur cover is blown already I suggest u just study medicine and stop all this online blackmail biz of yours

  26. Olusegun Fadare, from presently working in Uk, you became an insider in lth. Kudos to you. I don't know Fejiro but I pray he continues to report honestly.
    Hear this! The day 15yr olds started writing Jamb and electing to study medical lab science, the tyranny and hold of Medical doctors broke!
    wake up from your dreams, people like me have come to stay. We met the profession under your shackles but it's long been taken from there. We are now over and above.
    Wake up guys, you can't stop medical laboratory science. Slavery has ended!

  27. I wonder why would one accept any story from a doctor indefence of his fellow colleague regardless of where he or she studies or practice, despite the unethical conduct of the CMAC the fellow here still said kudos to him! But guess what that CMAC has open up a door that he an his like mind colleaguess should be ready to travel open cos if care is not taken the situation will eventually degenerate to that an i don't see doctor wining in that.

  28. Olusegun fadre" imagine u saying the scientist are placed where they belong" so a CMAC throuwing punches to staffs an detaning journalist is a doctors version of placing people where they belong! I see doctor leardership now! No wonder health worker are saying enough to ur leadership. No offense that statement alone descredit you as an honest an objective writter.

  29. Mass braining washing and professional insecurity,fighting pathologists will not help this insecurity. MLS in our country is being practiced by a group of professionally insecure human beings.
    A pathologist place in the clinical lab in hospitals.

  30. Olusegun fadare abi wetin be your name? I put it to you that you are the CMAC of LTH, Ogbomoso. All the fallacies written here would be replied in due course.

  31. One should not be so astounded by the uncanny action taken by the CMAC and his cohorts at the Lautech Teaching Hospital and the subsequent comments and submissions by the MDCAN. These "so called doctors” have over the years had their egos not just unbridled but also caressed and nurtured, now is has exacerbated and degenerated into a precarious condition of EGOMANIA. This people have been maliciously indoctrinated and brainwashed by their superiors, right from their undergraduate days with the erroneous cum dangerous philosophy of superiority complex which metamorphoses into an intense crave for being hero worshipped. They feel so proudly contemptuous that they “fatally bleed” when their extensive years of unjust and evil perpetration is being challenged. They rage like a deity divested of its due sacrifice and propitiation; they growl like a terribly devastated lion bedevilled by the twin tragedies of being pierced by a poisonous arrow coupled with horrendously protracted starvation. Little wonder their insatiable quest for undue reverence beclouded their sense of reason as to condescend so low to such a state of imprudence in requesting for customized number plates. Is this not “folly grandioso”?
    They felt Nigerians could be so daft to approve of such profligate act (which undoubtedly will lead to chaos in our national polity as other professionals will certainly request for same. Imagine having numbers bearing Lawyer, Lab scientist, Tailor, Carpenter, Cobbler, Plumber, Rat killer, Ogogoro vendor e.t.c). Though highly disappointed by these disillusioned acts of theirs, I am not stunned, for many of their inciters were birthed in such an uncivilized, local, uneducated and unenlightened social strata that they are over the years literarily deified by their household leading to psychological fixation as postulated and promulgated by the Austrian psychoanalyst – Sigmund Freud.
    It is high time they woke up to reality. IT IS NO LONGER BUSINESS AS USUAL. In one of his quotes, Scott Rickard said “Ignorance is the greatest tool the oppressor employs in oppressing the oppressed”, but unfortunately for doctors/pathologists, the days of ignorance are gone; gone forever. Med Lab Scientists are constantly/continually/persistently/relentlessly/incessantly/endlessly/ceaselessly and perpetually waxing stronger professionally, academically, politically, financially, spiritually, socially……
    May I inform you doctors/pathologists that it is too early for you to start crying. Your time to wail is not now. This is just a sign of things to come. Our dear profession is still in its evolving state and you are panicking like this, then you can imagine what will happen when we arrive. We are just beginning to demand and retrieve what has been treacherously taken from us. A sese n mu eye bo lapo ni- our bird is just being released from her concealment. Meanwhile, enjoy the few “unrightful rights” you have since garnered while it lasts, for very soon, the rightful KING (MLS) shall snatch back her throne.
    To our fellow comrades at the LTH, we salute your unwavering audacity and we are in it with you. ALUTA CONTINUA, VICTORIA ASERTA, LONG LIVE MLS.

  32. This arrogant stance has polarized the health sector which has culminated in the formation of the Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations and Unions and the setting up of this committee.

    Section 147(1) & (2) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is very clear as to how Ministers are appointed. Section 42 (1) a & b also compels a right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of Community, Ethnic Group, Place of Origin, Sex, Religion, Political Opinion etc.

    It is important to state that the headship of the Health Sector is not vested in medical doctors contrary to the claims of the NMA.

    The Situation in other Countries

    In the United States of America (USA), Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as the 21st Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services (equivalent to our own Minister of Health) on April 28th, 2009. She is a former Governor of Kansas State, holds a Bachelor Decree of Arts and Masters in Public Administration. Donna Shalala and Tommy Thompson were health ministers in Bill Clinton’s and G.W. Bush’s administrations respectively. They are neither medical doctors nor healthcare professionals.

    In the United Kingdom (U.K), the immediate past Secretary of Health was Rt. Honourable Andy Burnham who holds a Master of Arts (MA) Decree in English Language.

    In Japan Akira Nagatsuma who was appointed in 2009 as Minister of Health, is not a Medical Doctor. In India the Minister of Health, Mr. Ghulan Azad is not a medical doctor, he holds a M.Sc. Decree in Zoology.

    These are countries Nigerians are travelling to, in large numbers, for medical attention while the Nigerian healthcare service has been ranked 192 out of 198 countries by the World Health Organization under the leadership of Medical doctors.

    In Africa, Botswana has been rated by the World Health Organization as having the best national healthcare service. The current Minister of Health in Botswana is an Accountant, and he took over from Mrs. Motsumi, a Nurse, who was Health Minister from 2003-2009. Earlier on, Mrs. Phumaphi, a Nurse, was the Minister of Health from 1989-2002. It is noteworthy that since her independence in 1966, no medical doctor has been appointed Health Minister in Botswana.

    In Nigeria, the tenure of many non-Medical Doctors at the helm of Federal Ministry of Health witnessed stability and harmony as epitomized by the leadership of late Aminu Kano, Admiral Patrick Koshoni, Admiral Jubril Ayinla, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, Prof A. B. C. Nwosu and lately Prof Eyitayo Lambo. Perhaps it is appropriate to also remind this committee that Doctors have, at different times, led other Ministries that are not related to Health. Prof. Jubril Aminu was at different times Education and Petroleum Minister only recently incumbent Ondo State, Governor Dr. Segun Mimiko was Housing Minister in the Obasanjo Government. In these capacities these eminent Doctors enjoyed the support of other core professionals in these different non-health Ministries.

    In the immediate past dispensation, the two Ministers in charge of the Federal Ministry of Health were medical doctors in a multidisciplinary set up such as Health, the first in the History of this Nation and yet there was no threat from the other stakeholders in the Health Sector.

    The general perception on why doctors want to continue to be Minister of Health is to maintain the hegemony of an unjust entry level in the civil service and discriminatory salary scales which they always get when doctors are Ministers of Health.

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