The Joint Health Sector Unions and the Assembly of Health Care Professional Associations have written President Muhammadu Buhari, rejecting the report of the Yayale Ahmed Presidential Committee of Experts on Professional Relationships in the Public Health Sector.
The report had been submitted to former President Goodluck Jonathan since December 2014.
The union alleged that the secretariat of the committee was infiltrated by the Nigerian Medical Association, which made medical doctors to be referred to as “leaders of the health team” while other health professionals were dubbed “allied health professionals.”
The union said that the Yayale Ahmed committee was one-sided and that its report only sought to further marginalise its members and compromise the future generations of its members.
“We strongly demand this report, which is not in tune with national development and interest, be immediately withdrawn for public good and for the future of the health sector, as it’s certainly not a positive reference point in the quest for international best practices,” the unions said.
Excerpts from the letter read, “In one of the most nauseating recommendations of the YAPCEPRH, it recommended the establishment of an unnecessary office of the Chief Medical Adviser to Mr. President.
“A perusal of the functions of this office – including exercising essential responsibilities for issuing reports on such issues as ‘smoking and health’, as well as issuing warning to the public on health hazards, it confirms that this recommendation is only a shortcut to bring back to life the concept of Surgeon-General as demanded by the Nigerian Medical Association.
“The YAPCEPRPH found it necessary to cite experiences in climes where doctors have a monopoly of some public health initiatives. It conveniently and cleverly avoided the United States’ experience of the Surgeon-General, which is open to all health professionals. As a matter of fact, the incumbent US Surgeon-General is a trained Registered Nurse.”