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CREATE DIRECTORATE OF MED. LABORATORY IN HOSPITALS; SCIENTISTS TELLS MDS/CMDS

COMMUNIQUE RELEASED AT THE END OF THE 192nd NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENTISTS OF NIGERIA, HELD AT GIGINYA CORAL HOTEL, SOKOTO, ON SATURDAY 13th JUNE 2015.

PREAMBLE
The 192nd NEC Meeting of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) took place in Sokoto, Sokoto State. The meeting brought all the stakeholders of Medical Laboratory Science professionin Nigeria, National Executive CouncilMembers of the association, the chairmen and secretaries from all the states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory.

The NEC Meeting addressed issues, achievements and challenges having direct bearing on the practice of Medical Laboratory Science profession in Nigeria such as: legal matters, updates on thee-learning programme of the Association and its sustainability, establishment matters, 2015 National
Conference/AGM, AMLSN Strategic Plans, finance matters and matters that have to do with the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN).
Highlights of the NEC Meeting include the inauguration of 20 Standing Committees and the association’s Board of Trustees.

The NEC, led by the National President, Alh Toyosi Y. Raheem, paid advocacy visits to top government officials and institutions around Sokoto State. These includes the Head of Civil Service, the Vice Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University and the Chief Medical Director, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital.

OBSERVATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

1. NEC congratulated His Excellency Barrister Aminu Waziri Tambuwal for successfully given an exemplary leadership as the Speaker of the 7th National Assembly, and of his overwhelming victory at the polls to emerge as the Executive Governor of Sokoto State.

2. NEC commended Sokoto State government for the efforts in taking over the complete sponsorship of all undergraduates who are indigenes of the state and studying Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine and Pharmacy, among others by placing them on GL 7 until graduation.

3. The meeting observed and commended the sustenance of quality healthcare in Sokoto State which culminates into peace and harmony among all health professionals in the state.

4. NEC appealed to all states and in the federation to create Directorates of Medical Laboratory Services in their respective Ministries of Health, and to appoint the most senior Medical Laboratory Scientist as a Director in the Ministries of Health and Health Management Boards, as done for Nursing Services, Pharmaceutical Services, Medical Services, etc. This will help to achieve quality of laboratory commodities and will ensure conformance to Quality Management System in all medical laboratories and the implementation of the ISO 15189 standard for all medical laboratories. Doing this will address quality assurance issues and help achieve a robust inspectorate unit under the directorate for Medical Laboratory Services. It will also help to coordinate, register, accredit and ensure quality services in all medical laboratoriesin line with the Scheme of Service for Medical Laboratory Scientists and the 2013 landmark judgment by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

5. Public-Private-Partnership (PPP):NEC observed as worrisome the manner and scope of introducing Public-Private Partnership Policy (PPP) in health institutions in Nigeria, its introduction is vendetta-driven. Despite the fact that the World Health Organization emphasizes Universal Health Coverage which must be accessible, available and affordable, the manner of introducing PPP in some General and Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria is targeted at increasing the out-of-pocket expenditures of the common man in Nigeria and consequently making health services unaffordable to the majority of the populace. It also enriches certain categories of health professionals who now take more interest in referring their patients to PPP labs at the expense and detriment of the patient. PPP in the health sector in Nigeria is clearly a policy summersault designed to confer monopoly on shylock business outfits especially in Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria. Teaching Hospitals are supposed to be centres of excellence for quality and affordable services, training and research. Any attempt to relegate these statutory functions will meet stiff resistance.

6. Usmanu Danfodiyo University is the first to transit from ‘School’ to ‘Faculty’ status for Medical Laboratory Science programmes in all universities in Nigeria. While this achievement has attracted healthy competition from other universities, culminating in these universities’ readiness to restructure Medical Laboratory Science programmes into faculties in their respective universities, the NEC meeting observed with regret that this lofty achievement is being truncated by the National Universities Commission (NUC), possibly due to lack of clear understanding and evaluation of the programme and the process. It is beyond doubt that the prerogative to put a faculty in any programme lie within the purview the Senate of the affected University, who will in turn communicate to NUC for final approval. NEC therefore called on the Usmanu Dan fodiyo University to help in fast-tracking the resolution of the misunderstanding of the process of the faculty structure in the university. The positive resolution of this misunderstanding will further place the university in the class of universities with a clear vision and mission for excellence and will be a tremendous example to other universities to emulate.

CONCLUSION
Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria and its members across Nigeria are ready and willing to collaborate and partner with states and federal governments in ensuring peace, harmony, healthy industrial relations and quality health system across the country. This can only be possible when synergy and mutual respect amongst healthcare professionals become sustainable.

APPRECIATION

NEC appreciates the immense contributions and logistic supports given to our Association by the Vice Chancellor of Usmanu Dan fodiyo University, the Dean, Faculty of Medical Laboratory Science of the university, the entire Principal officers of the university, the Chief Medical Director of Usmanu Dan fodiyo University Teaching Hospital and his Management staff, the Head of Service of the State and his principal officers, and the entire citizens of Sokoto State. We equally appreciate the Sokoto state branch of our Association for making us very proud by successfully hosting the 192nd NEC meeting of the Association. To God be the Glory!

Singed:
AlhToyosi Y. Raheem Suraj A. Junaid Adeyeye Adetunji Tam
National President National Secretary National PRO

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