The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) Lagos State, has appealed to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to take advantage of the newly approved Consultancy Cadre for pharmacists by the Federal Government to lift the suspension without further delays and conditionality.
Chairman of PSN, Lagos State Chapter, Pharm. Gbolagade Iyiola, said non-implementation of the Consultancy Cadre for pharmacists in Lagos State approved by the Executive Council of Lagos State Government in 2018, negated international best practices and against the interest of the State.
He explained that the approval of the scheme was a result of negotiations between a coalition of the Joint Health Sector Workers Unions (JOHESU); Pharmacists Society of Nigeria, and Lagos State government. According to him, the approval was put on hold by the immediate past government of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on the promptings of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).
Iyiola called on His Excellency, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to lift the suspension of the approved Consultant Cadre for pharmacists in the state civil service.
A letter to the Governor of Lagos State signed by Iyiola reads in part: “It is tragic that the immediate past administration sacrificed a well thought-out agreement it had with a coalition of organised labour (JOHESU) and a noble professional Association (PSN Lagos) to enhance the capricious propensities of NMA in matters that are ordinarily out of its jurisdiction.
“It is imperative to impress it on the progressive Sanwo-Olu led government that healthcare is driven by international best practices and therefore cannot be restricted to the humongous as well as insatiable appetite to regulate through slowing down the growth and development of other professions by Nigerian Doctors.
“In Medicine, the training is lawfully grounded at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Other health professions are denied this same privilege at Federal level and often times; at Lagos State level.
“There is a high incidence of politics in our Health Sector which has reduced our output in Healthcare to a peculiar Nigerian type of Health System as against international best practices.
He advised the Lagos State government to encourage policies that entrench competencies and adequate capacities building in its Health System. “Government at all levels must create the atmosphere for health reforms which will focus on maximising the potentials of its workforce.”
“The Consultancy Cadre is a reality across the globe from the UK, USA, France and Austria to African countries including Ghana, Sierra-Leone, Egypt and South Africa. It is largely driven by a need for Pharmacists to have the right knowledge to help support our patients. As challenges come with complications in patient therapy where care providers have to deal with multiple disease states in one patient, Pharmacists must adequately respond by acquiring these competencies to bring deliverables in the value chain of healthcare delivery.”
While reminding Governor Sanwo-Olu of his promise to establish a College of Pharmacy in Lagos State, he appealed for the improvement of the manpower needs in healthcare in Lagos State by immediately facilitating the commencement of a degree programme at Lagos State University (LASU) through the establishment of a Faculty/College of Pharmacy.