COVID-19: Pathologists allege political, commercial experts of hijacking duties

The National President of the College of Nigerian Pathologists (CNP), Professor Phillips Olatunji, on Wednesday, alleged that political and commercial experts have hijacked the duties of pathologists, in the fight against the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Olatunji disclosed this during a press conference held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, saying “political and commercial experts are being imported by internal collaborators to take this place of technical and professional experts. What manner of intervention can this be?

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“Sadly, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the apex body of medical doctors and Medical and Dental Consultants Association, a body of specialist doctors are complaining of being sidelined, while the Pathologists are left out of the laboratories.”

“Equally sad is the fact that our policymakers would appear to be deliberately sidelining our well-trained professionals and experts and making bogus announcements over the television and radio.

“Those of us who they are forced to accommodate are working under harsh conditions, without insurance, in spite of the danger to which they are exposed.”

He accused the Federal and State governments of deliberate neglect of medical practitioners in the country.

The CNP President queried the Federal government’s insistence on bringing the Chinese doctors into the country, against public outcry and stakeholders in the health sector.

He insisted that there was no need for bringing the Chinese doctors to Nigeria, arguing that the number of patients in Nigeria has not expanded the number of available doctors in the country.

He also alleged that health workers working in the frontline are being exposed to risk without adequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“The CNP called on government at all levels to take advantage of the COVID-19 opportunity to prioritise healthcare system.

“No country can be truly developed if its healthcare system is underdeveloped. This will not be the last pandemic, another will come. We must be prepared, our public health infrastructure, our laboratories and our healthcare workforce must be rebuilt so that the weakest among us would have access to good healthcare,” he added.

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