In a bid to catch up with the developed countries, we most times copy some of their practices.
One of which we are yet about to copy is the creation of the post of Surgeon General in Nigeria.
What it truly is:
The Surgeon General of the United States is the operational head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (PHSCC) and thus the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the federal government of the United States.
In the United states of America (a country where the NMA is copying some of their medical development from) where they have the office of the surgeon General, the incumbent Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak (who is in the acting position). He is a medical doctor who has who has excelled very well in his career. However, the current Deputy Surgeon general of the United States Rear Admiral (RADM) Scott F. Giberson is a Pharmacist. And not just a Pharmacist, but a Clinical Pharmacist, Chief Pharmacist, Senior public Health Advisor, Senior medical program officer, Division Director and principal consultant.
In a similar medical sector in the same United states of America, Patricia D. Horoho is a United States Army lieutenant general and the 43rd U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command. She is the first female and first Nurse Corps Officer to hold those appointments.
Now this is a picture of a society that has progress at the back of their minds. A society that is not myopic. A society that considers competence, skill, excellence and professional relevance over professional segregation, nepotism and professional pride. A society that gives one “The Job” as long as one is skilled, qualified and competent regardless of the part of a system one emerges from.
What Nigerian Doctors want it to be:
Nigerian doctors spear headed by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) wants the office of the Surgeon General of the Federation created and they want it to be the exclusive birth right of medical doctors whether competent or not. In fact, they want the office to remain “sacrosanct and untouchable” by other medical professionals.
In addition to that they want every administrative position of responsibility in the medical sector to be headed by only medical doctors; like other medical professionals do not have the requisite skills, competence and guts to head such positions of responsibilities.
My unanswered Questions:
1. What is the crown of glory on the head of Nigerian Medical doctors?
2. When would Nigerian Medical doctors learn to respect other medical professionals especially the very senior, highly trained and educationally nurtured medical professionals?
3. Is the NMA now a trade union? Aren’t they meant to be a professional body? Isn’t their activity illegal and criminal?
4. Does the fact that a medical professional other than a medical doctor heads an administrative position of responsibility, stop medical doctors from carrying out their jobs as doctors?
5. Do other medical professionals not have the ability to understand the patients or are they not also trained to function in the system for the betterment of the patient?
The medical sector is a system and every part of this system needs to be recognised as relevant for it to function effectively. After all, the medical colleges of all Nigerian Universities is a faculty with different departments of which medicine (MBBS) is just one; I wonder why it alone is not a faculty.
Picture what will happen if all medical laboratories both public and private lock up for just one week or when Nurses and Physiotherapists both public and private sit at home for just 3 days. Again, what will happen when all Pharmacies both public and private lock up for just 3 days. Would their relevance finally be felt?
Every member of the medical profession is as important as the other. This professional discrimination has divided and killed the system.
The sky is wide enough for all birds to flock without obstructing the other.
Dear Nigeria Medical Association; Live and let Live.
These little things matter!!!