Pharmacists under the aegis of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, have urged Federal government to jettison the idea of appointing a Surgeon-General to steer the affairs of the health industry in Nigeria, as it would amount to duplication of roles.
Making the call in Lagos, in the wake of renewed calls for the post, PSN President, Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, said information provided on the need for the post cannot be a compelling factor on which to waste scarce public funds.
His words: "Today the incumbent Surgeon-General reports to an Assistant Secretary of Health in the United States which promotes the concept. The Office of the Surgeon-General in whatever nomenclature will mean an unnecessary duplication of offices and functions which are presently being articulated and undertaken by the Office of the Minister of Health and the Minister of State for Health with and array of Directors, Deputy Directors and Assistant."
Explaining that stakeholders in health probably see Nigeria as a health outpost that deserves a Chief Medical Office, Akintayo said in contemporary publications and reflections, the justification for the position of a Surgeon-General is hinged on the need for such public officer to be saddled with the responsibility of independently assessing the medical fitness of public and political office holders.
"This assertion on face value is ridiculous and certainly most unconvincing because the basic tenets of medical training positions any registered medical practitioner to undertake the responsibility of ascertaining the medical fitness of individuals."
Arguing that healthcare is increasingly a team concept and multidisciplinary where each stakeholder contributes to a pooled effort to achieve desired outcomes, he lamented that the Health Sector has suffered avoidable entropy because of ill-concerned policies and statutes over time.
"Our nation needs laws that can truly impact by ameliorating the burdens of our depressed citizenry and not statutes that intensify conflict potentials in a perennially tension-soaked sector at the detriment to overwhelming public interest," he avowed.