HEALTH workers under the aegis of the Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to check the excesses of some Chief Executives Officers (CEO) of federal institutions and who are alleged to be using their positions to suppress the progress of other health professionals.
Speaking during a public lecture organised by AMLSN in Calabar, AMLSN National President, Toyosi Raheem, stated that although many of the CEOs are enjoying the benefits of their offices based on statutory laws, some of them, according to him are deliberately denying some other health workers their statutory benefits.
He also called for the amendment of Decree 10 of 1985 to correct the imbalance in the health sector.Raheem noted that; “currently, the law of the land as enshrined in Decree 10 of 1985 has been wrongly interpreted when it comes to appointment of a Chief Medical Director,” adding that; “for instance, in developed countries of the world, it’s not the exclusive of only the clinicians to man that position.”
He explained that; “in fact, there are countries where you have people with bachelor degrees in English and History heading health facilities. So, it’s a matter of competence in administration.”
Citing various judgments won by medical laboratories in the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in attempt to fight alleged injustice in the health sector, Raheem urged Buhari and Minister of Justice of the Federation “to mandate the CEOs of health institutions and the Federal Ministry of Health to comply with all the court judgments.”
He said: “ We humbly call on President Muhammadu Buhari to use his good office to check the abuse of power and excesses of some of the chief executives of the federal health institutions in Nigeria. It is really unfortunate that those CEOs who are enjoying the position they presently occupy because of the statutes-circulars and laws that create their respective positions and benefits are ironically, denying other health professionals (especially the medical laboratory scientists) the entitlements contained in their own laws and circulars.
“As medical laboratory scientists, we greatly appreciate the fearless and objective judgments of the various judges of the National Industrial Courts of Nigeria (NICN) in all our mature ways of obtaining justice and maintaining full autonomy for our profession. Some of the judgments delivered by NICN include AMLSN vs Federal Medical Centre Asaba judgment in 2013, AMLSN vs Jos University Teaching Hospital judgment in 2015 and AMLSN vs Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (Ile-Ife) judgment on January 27, 2016. All these were pronounced in favour of our profession. This further strengthens our belief in the fact that the judiciary is indeed the last hope of the common man!
“We, therefore, call on his President Buhari and the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation to mandate the CEOs of health institutions and the Federal Ministry of Health to comply with all the court judgments as listed above. If we are truly in the era of change, then the change should include elimination of impunity and lawlessness in Nigeria.
“Our members may be pushed to the wall, if our patience and belief in the rule of law is taken for granted. Let it be stated that, if our belief in the rule of law is frustrated, then anarchy could be the only option left. This we believe would not be in the best interest of Nigerians and the Nigerian health system.
“Our members shall not allow the sustenance of the culture of impunity and lawlessness by some CEOs of health institutions. This, if allowed, could rub us of our statutory professional rights and privileges as provided for by the federal government statutes. This change mantra, must indeed change all those who believe in lawlessness and impunity!”