By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka

Nigerian Radiographers have identified poor leadership as the reason the Nigerian health sector is at its moribund state.

Reacting to a recent opposition of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) and the Association of Provosts of Colleges of Medicine in Nigeria (APCOM) to the proposed teaching hospitals board bill, the Radiographers said Nigerian physicians should realize that there are other professionals in the health sector whose expertise are required to move the health sector forward.

The president of the Association of Radiographers of Nigeria, Dr.Dlama Joseph and the secretary, Dr. Samuel Laushugno described the proposed bill as capable of reforming the Nigerian health sector starting from the apex hospitals; the university teaching hospitals.

They said: “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.

.”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 any professions in the healthcare work force.

“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.

“We therefore, wish to clarify that other health professions, equally, if not on a much larger scale, are well grounded by their extensive training to manage hospitals and any other facilities.

“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”.

“We commend the conscientious efforts of Hon Bamidele Salam who proposed the bill, 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 our their specific responsibilities as required by the facility.

“This bill should therefore be given judicious and express passage as an elixir to the suffocating ‘political patronage’ that has become of hospital administration in our clime which has totally derailed efficient and quality professional services due to over-protectionism of professional colleagues among physicians”.

They regretted that physicians have always usurped leadership and administration of tertiary hospitals with no recourse to quality administration and management, adding that the position of MDCAN which alludes to the opinion that only physicians can lead tertiary hospitals, is false.

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