The leadership of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, has urged the Federal Government to ignore the call by the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA in rescinding the circular on consultant pharmacist cadre, saying it negates global best practices, while the selfish interest of the group should be reprimanded by government.
Medical doctors under the aegis of NMA had earlier petitioned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha for the suspension of the consultant pharmacist cadre, arguing that its “capable of causing disruptions in healthcare delivery system in the hospital, as it blurs the lines of competence and responsibility among different cadres and profession in the healthcare industry”.
In a letter dated 5 November, 2020; and titled “Consultant Pharmacist Cadre: Danger to the Fragile Health System!” signed by the NMA’s President, Prof. Innocent Ujah, the association stated several reasons why consultancy cadre shouldn’t be implemented for pharmacists.
The PSN, in a statement addressed to the Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire obtained by Pharmanewsonline, described the NMA’s position as purely egoistic rather than altruistic, stating that the implementation of the consultant pharmacist cadre will make the healthcare system better than what it is presently.
“In the light of the foregoing, in line with global best practices and given the immense benefits of the consultant pharmacist cadre to the healthcare system of our dear country we urge Your Excellency, to ignore the petition of the leadership of NMA and appropriately disregard their call for the withdrawal of the circular of the Consultant Pharmacist cadre in Nigeria. Nigeria’s health system shall be better off with this cadre.
“NMA’s position is purely egoistic rather than altruistic. Permit us also to add that this growing penchant of the NMA to often challenge decisions of government and impose its self-centered wishes through blackmail (strike action) must be strongly reprimanded. Otherwise, it might create so much dissonance and entropy where every other professional group would dictate to government not only what it wants but also what it approves for other professional groups”, PSN maintained.
Reacting to the NMA’s petition that the circular was hastily released without following due process, the PSN insisted that the release of the circular on consultant pharmacist cadre followed due process and fulfilled all the requirements as stipulated by the National Council on Establishment (NCE).
“Sir, it is appropriate to inform you that the NCE had in August 2011 given approval for the creation of the Pharmacist Consultant Cadre. This approval followed the receipt and adoption of the recommendations contained in a report of its technical committee on the review of the Scheme of Service and creation of consultant pharmacists’ cadre in the public service. However, owing to reasons beyond our comprehension, the follow-up circular was not released.
“In 2015, in an apparent attempt at releasing the circular, the Office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) dispatched a letter dated 28 July 2015 (reference no: HCSF/EPO/EIR/NCE/100/S.6/T/56) to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) requesting for his views/comments and inputs before the release of the circular as approved by the NCE in 2011. The FMoH responded via a letter dated 5th October 2015 (reference no: C4007/T4/315) in which the ministry reaffirmed its full support for the creation of the consultant cadre for pharmacists”.
The pharmacists further condemned the NMA’s assertion on hasty release of the circular, saying it was stated in falsehood designed to hoodwink the uninformed, which only exposes the inherent mischief of the NMA leadership.
“How on earth can a process of review of the scheme of service which started with the submission of a memorandum to NCE in 2007 culminating in the release of the circular in 2020, thirteen (13) years down the line be said to be hastily done”, PSN queried.
The leadership of the PSN also cited examples of developed countries in the world where consultant pharmacist cadre is in operation and it does not conflict with the roles of other healthcare practitioners in the hospital.
“The leadership of NMA needs to appreciate the fact that modern healthcare delivery is not indigenous to Nigeria but was imported from the developed world where the roles and responsibilities of each healthcare professional are well defined within the framework of its acquired competencies.
“It is pertinent to state that the pharmacist consultants cadre in Nigeria is in tandem with international best practices from United Kingdom, United States of America, France and Australia to some African countries like Ghana and Sierra Leone”, it stated.