AMLSN identifies mismanagement of human resources, others as bane of health sector
The medical laboratory scientists in a statement signed by AMLSN President, Toyosi Y Raheem, listed resistance to statutory functions of health regulatory bodies, lack of standard in the payment of salaries and allowances of health professionals, headship of health professional services in health facilities and impunity and recklessness in the management of human resources in the health sector by the past ministers and commissioners of health.
Raheem stated that it is worrisome that most of the causes of strikes are caused by those that are at the helms of affairs in the management of health sector, adding that “ most of the past ministers and commissioners of health are culprits in this respect.” So also are the Chief Executives of the Hospitals/health facilities who are medical doctors.
The medical laboratory scientist said:“Because most of the ministers, commissioners of health and Chief Executives Officers (CEO) of Hospitals and health facilities in the country are usually medical doctors, they manage the health sector as personal business to the disadvantage of other health professionals in the sector. Even when schemes of service, circulars, court judgment, policies of governments, laws are clearly in favour of other professionals, leadership of the federal/state ministry of health and the CEOs of health facilities, usually disobey the implementation of such governments’ documents and directives with impunity.
“For example, the immediate past minister of health instead of directing all Chief Medical Directors/Medical Directors (CMDs/MDs) to comply with the Judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria which was in favour of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) members in 2012, it took JOHESU members several efforts and strikes before the then minister of health was forced to comply with the judgment. He refused to direct the CMDs and MDs to comply with the 2013 judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria which is in favour of medical laboratory scientists. Rather, he decided to instigate Federal Ministry of Health and others to proceed on appeals because to him, the rulings were not in favour of his medical doctor colleagues.”
On lack of standard of payment, Raheen said: “This is one of the major causes of strikes and crisis in the health sector. Medical doctors have been unnecessarily pampered in terms of salaries and allowances in the health sector. They are placed at the executive cadre level of Grade Level (GL) 12 as fresh graduates entering the civil service. Of all the graduates in Nigeria, it is only the medical and dental doctors that enter civil service at executive cadre levels (GL 12). They are also paid highly discriminatory professional allowances such as call duty, hazards, teaching and other allowances, which are far more than what other health professionals are paid. If they are trained for 8 years, including houseman-ship and NYSC, pharmacists, medical laboratory scientists, physiotherapists are also trained for 7-8 years, including internship and NYSC. Government needs to apply the standard of relativity in paying professionals in health sector and not merely creating separate salary scale for medical and dental doctors alone.”