NMA, AMLSN resolve to end inter-professional rivalry, strikes in health sector

NMA - Mike-Ogirima
President of NMA, Prof. Mike O. Ogirima

THE Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), and the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), has resolved to work relentlessly to end the inter-professional rivalry between the medical doctors and other professionals in the health sector.

The two prominent bodies in the health sector made the pledge at a one-week 53rd Annual Scientific Conference and Workshop of the AMLSN, which ends in Kaduna, today.

President of NMA, Prof Mike Ogirima and the AMLSN President, Toyosi Raheem, while speaking during the session said the rivalry between the professional bodies, unions, and association has been the bane of effective health care delivery in the nation’s health sector.

They, however, resolved to works hard to ensure that other bodies, such as the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), and other unions under the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), come together to address the source of the crisis in the sector.

Over the years, professional rivalries in Nigeria’s health sector have led to countless industrial actions among resident doctors and other health workers.

While it has also led to deaths of many patients in hospitals across the country; it was believed to have contributed greatly to the poor state of the nation’s health system.

In his address, the NMA President, Prof Ogirima said he was representing over 42,000 Nigerian doctors who are actively practicing in Nigeria.

To underline the seriousness of the inter-professional rivalries, the NMA president said: “While I was being introduced, somebody expressed a shock that NMA president is here. I said yes, I have to be here because of your leader.”

He said the present leadership of the AMLSN is a very dependable ally; adding,” he is a man of peace, and when we met shortly when I took over at NMA, I said I have brought a bridge agenda, and that bridge agenda is hotly pursued. But, don’t mind the hiccups, in a house, you can quarrel. But, I was glad to be here this morning to notice the elders of this profession.”

He said: “Let us get back to the roots, if anywhere we have made mistake, let’s ask for forgiveness and come together. This is because we are in the hospital environment because of our patients. The values have changed. Everybody is craving for money.

“The main crisis in the hospital set up, particularly in the lab is who controls the budget. That is the quarrel. But, let’s not neglect our patients. Let’s not chase titles. Let’s not chase position.”

He warned that patients are coming together against the health workers and are now pursuing rights of patients. A bill is being sponsored, and I am using this opportunity to call on all health professionals working in the hospital under the ministry of health to come together so that we can help patients. Let’s stop pointing fingers at each other. Of course, when litigation comes, it is the doctor they call to face the music.”

Also, the AMLSN President, Toyosi Raheem, advised all members of the nation’s health team to work in unity for the good of the patients.

In his address, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Architect Bala Bantex, commended the contributions of AMLSN to Nigerian health systems; and appealed to all health professionals in the country to work as a team.

According to him, “while the government is doing its best to provide an appropriate work environment in our hospitals, it is disheartening to observe the growing needless disharmony among the various health professionals that constitute the health team.

“As a result of this, the quality of care is adversely affected to the detriment of the sick. Rather than embark on the unhealthy battle for supremacy, I call on you to strive to be in your best-chosen field or specialization.”

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