The Clinical Pharmacists Association of Nigeria has called on the Senate to amend the anticipated Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Act 2020.
CPAN, the body saddled with the responsibility of advising government and policy makers on aspects of pharmaceutical care, said that the MDCN Act could put patients under undue pressure if passed into law.
“Why propose a bill that will kill Nigerians instead of saving lives if implemented?” the association queried.
Recall that the Joint Health Sector Unions made a similar demand on February 5, saying the bill would further cause division in the country’s health sector.
JOHESU president, Biobelemoye Josiah, at the public hearing of the MDCN Act, 2020, by the Senate Committee on Health reminded the committee of the existing rules of the National Assembly not to consider legislating on matters pending before the court.
In a letter written to the Senate and signed by CPAN National Chairman, Dr. Joseph Madu stressed that the MDCN bill, if passed and signed into law as it is currently, would invariably and negatively affect the health situations of approximately 180 to 200 million Nigerians.
“We wish to call the attention of the Nigerian Senate Committee on health to the fact that if this bill is passed and allowed to become law, it will become the most injurious law as regards healthcare and health of Nigerians in this century and in the future.
“It is not only fake drugs that kill, but genuine drugs in the hands of those not trained to excel on drugs (non drug experts) also kill. Drug therapy problems or medication errors have been documented to be a multi-billion-dollar issue to many governments,” he said.
The clinical pharmacist noted that it was important for lawmakers to reflect and emphasise that no life lost can be equated to monetary values.
Continuing, he urged members of the Senate Committee on Health to consider the already poor health index of Nigeria (189 out of 190 countries surveyed by WHO) to prevent anything that would further worsen the health care system of the country.
“Already, the average life expectancy of Nigerians is 54 years, which is painfully low compared to nations like the UK and the US with average life expectancy of about 97 and 98 respectively.
“The reason of such longevity in the above mentioned countries is because such countries have enviable health systems based on health personnel work which is highly viewed as a team work as well as enviable health system bills or laws,” he said.
According to him, no health professional should be empowered by any bill to control others, especially those who have been accused of promoting quackery by training auxiliary nurses in private clinics.
“No particular healthcare professional should boss over members of other healthcare professions except through government approved hierarchical standards,” he said.
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