DELEGATES yesterday kicked against the planned establishment of office of the Surgeon- General of the Federation.
They urged the Conference to advise the Federal Government against what they termed unnecessary duplication of offices or creation of new bureaucracies in the health system that do not add any value to the primary task of providing quality services to Nigerians.
The move was contained in a motion by Dr Uno Uwaga, Paul Enebde, Shem Zagbayi Nuhu; Issa Aremu; Hassan Salihu Anka, Steve Daniel Aluko and 31 others. The position of the delegates came up during debates on the report of the Committee on Social Sector chaired by Iyom Josephine Anenih with Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai as Deputy Chairman which recommended that the office of the Surgeon- General be established.
The delegates observed among others that despite the informed and objective analysis which served as the bedrock of the position of the committee, “a few interested parties that stand to benefit from the creation of such office appear committed to misinforming and misguiding the conference into taking a wrongful decision that would project a self-interest against democratically resolved position on the matter.
“The office of the Surgeon- General is alien to most health systems apart from those of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada wherein the office is restricted to the armed forces, and wherein the office is not held by Medical doctors to the exclusion of others;
“The establishment of this office would amount to further bureaucratisation of the structures of the health system without any value necessarily added whatsoever as the Honourable Minister of Health adequately serves as the Chief Medical Adviser of the Presidency and indeed the federation.
“A bill with the intent to establish the office of the Surgeon- General of the Federation presented to the 6th National Assembly was thrown out on the grounds that it would deepen and exacerbate the acrimonious and chaotic situation that already exists in the health sector.
“Heeding the demand for the interested parties for the creation of the office of the Surgeon- General of the Federation would further deepen inter-cadre acrimony and disrupt industrial peace and harmony in the health sector with dire consequences, including the trade unions’ principled stance against such an act which might result in avoidable crisis.”