The Association of Radiographers of Nigeria has strongly disagreed with the position of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria and the Association of Provosts of Colleges of Medicine in Nigeria, over their stand that only physicians should lead tertiary health institutions in the country.
The group said the reason the Nigerian health sector was in its moribund state was because of the entrenched poor leadership that has been provided by the physicians all through these years.
The physicians had objected to the amendment of the Bill titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to amend the university teaching hospitals (Reconstitution Of Boards) Act Cap U15 LFN 2004,’ which was sponsored by Mr Bamidele Salam, representing Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore/Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State in the House of Representatives.
According to a statement on Monday, the president of the Association of Radiographers of Nigeria, Dr. Dlama Joseph and the secretary, Dr Samuel Laushugno, said the bill was an “altruistic” bid to reform the country’s health sector starting from the apex hospitals, which had been long overdue.
The radiographers lamented that the physicians have always usurped the leadership and administration of the tertiary hospitals with no recourse to quality administration and management.
They said the Nigerian health sector had for long operated below the standards and at variance with global best practices, majorly due to the overbearing attitude of a section of the healthcare workforce.
It said, “They (physicians) have always usurped leadership and administration of these tertiary hospitals with no recourse to quality administration and management.
“The position of MDCAN which alludes to the opinion that only physicians can lead tertiary hospitals in Nigerian and that physician-led hospitals are better is false.
“The assertions reek of the usual sanctimonious bid to perpetuate the existing inefficient and ineffective system which favours only one section of the healthcare workforce, with the physicians being the chief medical directors or provost of the colleges of medical sciences and has proven to have delivered poorly in all indices of hospital management.
“It is worthy to note that this current practice has impacted negatively on all indices of quality health care and hospital management.
“We make bold to say that the reason the Nigerian health sector is at its moribund state is because of the entrenched poor leadership that has been provided by the physicians all through these years.
“It is time to do things the right way. It is time for real health administrators to be appointed to these offices in order to turn things around.”
The radiographers further disagreed with the belief that all over the world, physician-led hospitals were better managed with “measurable advancements” in all sectors.
It said the notion was not only a “fallacy” but an erroneous submission targeted at misleading the entire public and policymakers.
The statement read in part, “To put the records straight, the best hospitals in the world are not necessarily managed by physicians, but by seasoned health administrators who have obtained higher degrees in management and administration with cognate experience, even if they have a background as part of many professions in the healthcare workforce.
“Possession of a degree in any healthcare profession is only considered as an added advantage.
“In an even more sinister write-up, APCOM alluded to notions that the position of the Chief Executive Officer is an exclusive preserve of medical physicians. This is obnoxious, derogatory and misleading.
“The assertion is self-serving and unheard of in saner climes and should not be tolerated in a healthcare sector which APCOM itself has described as ‘frail and desperately sick.
“Health professionals such as Radiographers, Pharmacists, Medical Laboratory Scientists, Nurses, Physiotherapists, and Optometrists, among others have gone ahead to obtain requisite higher degrees in Hospital or HealthCare administration and management, thereby making them more eminently qualified to hold such positions in hospitals”.
The group, therefore, commended the conscientious efforts of Mr Bamidele Salam, and the National Assembly for their assiduous efforts to uphold and bring transformation in the Nigerian health institutions.
“We urge them to stick to the global best practices where hospital administrators are in charge of hospitals while all the different health professionals are hired to carry out their specific responsibilities as required by the facility,” it added.