By Chioma Obinna
Ten years after the country approved the Pharmacists Consultant Cadre, the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, has appealed to the National Council for Establishment (NCE) to ensure full implementation of the Programme.
In a memo signed by the PSN President, Professor Cyril Usifoh, the Society regretted that though the NCE was approved to the Pharmacists Consultant Cadre in August 2011 and November 2019, respectively, to date, the NCE is yet to ensure full implementation.
The PSN further alleged that some key chieftains of the Federal Ministry of Health, FMOH, have connived with the Chief Executives Officers of the Federal Health Institutions, FHIs, to frustrate the full implementation of the Pharmacist Consultant Cadre.
The memo titled, ‘Memo to all Members of the National Council on Establishment, Consultant Pharmacist Cadre: Matters Arising,’ partly reads: “It has become imperative once again to put this position paper as the NCE meets from January 24 to 29, 2022 in Abuja.
“In contemporary times, there have been attempts to create unnecessary distractions for the Pharmacists Consultancy Cadre which has fulfilled all established tenets of due process from the NCE, the HOSOF and even the FMoH which both issued enabling circulars for unhindered implementation of the Consultant.”
They also moved to implement the appropriate salary structure for the new cadre to enable the OHCSF to issue the appropriate circular. “It went further to add that the salary structure for pharmacists is the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS).
It concluded by stating that “the Consultant Pharmacists are entitled to be paid relevant allowances including Specialist Allowance.”
The circular was signed by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, a dental surgeon by profession. To the best of our knowledge, this process and procedure for the approval and release of the circular for the Consultant Pharmacist Cadre are perhaps the most thorough in recent history.
It also claimed that the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in a petition addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha dated November 5, 2020, which is labelled “Consultant Pharmacist Cadre: Danger to the Fragile Health System” protested against the approval of the Pharmacists Consultant Cadre.
According to the PSN, prominent stakeholders in the Health Sector including PSN and the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) responded by putting issues in perspective in their well-informed position papers to the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
These events compelled the SGF to refer the various positions to the FMOH for comments and formal response, PSN noted.
However, the PSN decried the delay in approving the scheme after passing due process. “Despite the flawless process that engendered the approval of the Consultant Pharmacists Cadre, it remains a sad testimony that only the UCH, Ibadan and about two other FHIs as well as the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria have complied with the circular of the OHCSF and the FMOH to implement the new Consultant Pharmacists Cadre.”
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