A Nigerian medical doctor practicing in the United States, Dr Ndidi Anurika, has berated the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and it’s president, over the recent opposition of the association to the approved Consultancy Cadre for pharmacists in the country.
She described the letter written by the NMA President, Prof. Innocent A.O Ujah to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha against the approved Consultancy Cadre for pharmacists as shameful to the profession.
In the same vein, a Nigerian clinical pharmacist practicing in the United States, Dr Teresa Pounds has justified the roles of consultant pharmacists in healthcare delivery, as the global community battles circulation of counterfeit medical and pharmaceutical supplies in hospitals.
Dr Pounds who spoke to Pharmanewsoline in an exclusive mail interview explained the special responsibilities of consultant pharmacists in policies formulation and drug interventions.
“Precisely, individuals holding this role lead interdisciplinary development of medicine use policies and procedures. These policies and procedures help to set a plan of action for using a particular drug for the desired clinical outcomes.
“In other words, the policies and procedures help to formulate guidelines for using a particular drug. They also ensure that drugs used in the medical facilities are acquired from renown and quality suppliers.
“Today, the world is filled with counterfeit products and hospitals should not make the mistake of buying nonstandard drugs or hospital equipment. However, due to the expertise of consultant pharmacists, they can help to identify drugs that meet the standards of preparation and whose use has been found to be effective. These consultants can also be involved in drug preparation for patient administration”, she quipped.
Dr Anurika, in a statement addressed to the NMA President and fellow doctors said: ”I became ashamed at how low the decision makers in Nigeria stooped to drag against what should be applauded and encouraged. I saw the unnecessary letter as a show of shame to doctors, which makes it look as if we now feel less of ourselves. I was never trained to feel less of myself.
“Thinking that someone becoming a consultant in Nursing or Pharmacy or even Laboratory will take job away from consultants in medicine is a wrong judgement Mr President.
“Here in the US, we have consultancy cadres in several fields of medicine for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, even dieticians and it further strengthened collaboration here, such that knowledge sharing is encouraged towards better patient care. I still find it difficult to accept your ideology that consultancy in other professions will affect the role of a medical doctor in Nigeria, how will this happen?”, she decried.
She however pleaded with all stakeholders in the Nigerian health sector to rise and save the nation from further embarrassment on the issue.
The passionate medical doctor urged all healthcare practitioners to strengthen their core areas of specialisation, for Nigeria to record good health statistics once again, after several years of lagging behind in health indices.
The NMA President, Prof. Ujah had requested in his letter dated 5 November, 2020, to the SGF Mr Boss Mustapha for the suspension of the consultancy cadre for pharmacists, saying 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 professions in the healthcare industry”.
The letter titled: “Consultant Pharmacist Cadre: Danger to the Fragile Health System!”, also contained other reasons put forward by the NMA why consultancy cadre shouldn’t be implemented for pharmacists.