JOHESU: Pathologists express dismay over planned strike action

THE College of Nigerian Pathologists (CNP), on Tuesday, expressed dismay over a planned strike action by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and its call to the National Assembly to step down the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2020.

The CNP described the planned strike action and the call by JOHESU as one of the bullying tactics of the union in arm-twisting and blackmailing the Federal Government.

JOHESU had called on the National Assembly to throw out the bill, alleging that the main objective of the bill was to expand the discriminatory and oppressive tendencies of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria over other health workers in the country.

JOHESU had last week threatened an industrial action over public hearing on the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Repeal and Re-enactment Bill, 2020.

President, College of Nigerian Pathologists, Professor Philip Olatunji addressing newsmen at a press briefing in Abeokuta, however, said the recent threat of industrial action by JOHESU was an attempt to blackmail the Senate Committee on Health.

Olatunji said the bill does not seek to victimise members of JOHESU but regulate the practice of medical doctors and specialists.

According to him, “All that the new Medical and Dental Repeal and Re-enactment Bill under consideration seeks to do is ensure that words ‘pathology’ and ‘laboratory’ are properly defined in order to clear the existing conflict and avoid any ambiguity.”

He called on the National Assembly to ignore JOHESU’s call and pass the bill which had already scaled second reading, to end conflicts in the health sector which according to him had rendered Nigerian laboratories crises-ridden for 17 years.

He stated that the medical laboratory scientists and other members of JOHESU had been taking advantage of the outdated Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act 1988 to usurp the position and activities of medical and practitioners “thus giving rise to the avalanche of quackery and avoidable deaths Nigerians have had to contend with over the years.”

Olatunji insisted that it was wrong and misinforming for medical laboratory scientists to claim that they are the only workers authorised to work in laboratories.

“The Medical and Practitioners’ Act is 33 years old and long overdue for repeal and re-enactment as is being carried out. The repeal and re-enactment bill is meant to regulate medical doctors and specialists in the field of medicine.

“The complaint of JOHESU, an amalgam of different professionals in different departments, is nothing but a gang-up against medical doctors and the complaint they have raised are based on crass ignorance, misinformation and outright mischief.”

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