Health workers petition Buhari, reject Yayale Ahmed’s presidential committee report on sector
JOHESU and AHPA, which constitute about 95 per cent of the workforce in the health sector, in a letter to President Buhari dated July 25, 2018, said they have jointly reviewed the YAPCEPRPH report submitted to former President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, in December 2014 at Aso Rock, Villa, Abuja and reject the report.
The health workers in the letter, HQ/JOHESU/ADM/VOL.III/582, noted: “Our findings confirm our fears that as usual the Secretariat of the Committee was infiltrated by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) through the instrument of its privileged members in high places in government.
Nothing gives insight to this better than the phraseologies, which perennially referred to doctors as ‘Leaders of the Health Team’ while other health professionals were favouritely dubbed ‘Allied Health Professionals’ remains an incontrovertible proof of this position.
“Your Excellency, after a very critical evaluation of the YAPCEPRPH report we wish to draw your attention to our intendment to continue to dissociate our respective organisations from the less than credible posturing of the committee report on fundamental practice issues…”
The letter was signed leaders of the five health sector unions that make up JOHESU and AHPA, which include: Medical and Health Workers Unions of Nigeria (MHWUN); National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM); Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated institutions (SSAUTHRIAM); Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP); and Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutes (NASU).
The Union said they are not happy with the recommendations of the Yayale Committee on the following issues: establishment of the office of Chief Medical Adviser to the President; creation of a National Healthcare Commission; matters arising from Teaching Hospital Act; headship of teaching hospitals; appointment of Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC); appointment of Deputy CMAC; consultancy cadre for eligible health professionals; composition of boards of management for Federal Health Institutions (FHIs); opposition to appointment of other health professionals as directors in FHIs; establishment of post-graduate colleges for ‘allied health professionals’.
JOHESU and AHPA said they are also not happy about the obvious bias against health professionals other than doctors especially in the reflected areas: position of the panel on Pharm D and O.D programmes; withdrawal of Central Bank of Nigeria circular authorizing Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) to approve license for importation of In Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs); and poor hazard, call-duty and related allowances to health professionals.
They concluded: “Your Excellency, we the under listed stakeholders in health find it necessary to inform the Federal Government that we outrightly reject the very biased and one-sided YAPCEPRPH in both public and professional interests.
From all intents and purposes, the report only seeks to further marginalise our members and compromises the future of generations of our members who will be permanently made sub-servient to their contemporaries in medicine.
We strongly demand this report which is not in tune with national development and interest be immediately withdrawn for public good and the future of the Health Sector as it is certainly not a positive reference point in the quest for international best practices.”
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