Following the state of acrimony in the country's public health sector, President Goodluck Jonathan has inaugurated a Presidential Committee of Experts on Inter-Professional Relationship in the sector.
The President said his decision to set up the "critical" committee was occasioned by the "frosty and unhealthy relationship between the different professional cadres working in the sector".
“The direct victims of this unacceptable state of affairs are our people who at the end of the day complain bitterly. The health sector is a cardinal priority of our transformation agenda because it is only healthy people that can work."
He noted that his administration has set a goal for itself to attain universal health coverage and the provision of comprehensive health care for all it's citizens adding that it was in recognition of this commitment and "our determination to actualise the health related goals of the Millennium Development Goals that I decided to set up the Presidential Committee of Experts on Inter Professional Relationships in the Public Health Sector to check the drift in our health care delivery system".
The President said the committee, which comprises of distinguished and accomplished Nigerians including health and non health professionals, is expected to look into all the issues mitigating against cohesion and cohesiveness in the health sector and come up with objective and practical solutions.
He noted that the key thing for the committee was how the various health practitioners from the medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, laboratory technologists and the scientists and including the administrators, accountants will work together to make sure that the health service delivery in the country is not threatened.
He added that he was confident that given the worthy antecedents of the men and women selected to constitute the committee, they will make a success of this national assignment.
The committee, which was inaugurated at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, shortly before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council Meeting, is to be headed by a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed.
Members of the Committee include: Prof Denise Agbolahan, Jalad Alabi (State House Counsel), Dr Koripamo Agari amongst others.
The terms of reference of the eight-man committee include: To review the current roles of various professional careers in the health sector and recommend measures to remove areas of conflict; To review extant laws governing various health professionals and recommend appropriate amendments where necessary; To review the draft report of the committee set up by the minister of health on harmonious working relationships among public health workers with the view to adopting suitable recommendations there-from.
Others are: To advise government on appropriate measures to promote harmonious relationship among public health workers ; To consider and make any other recommendations that maybe incidental on the foregoing terms of reference which may assist government to promote industrial harmony in the public health sector.
The committee is required to complete its assignment and submit reports within eight weeks of inauguration.
Speaking on behalf of the members of the committee, Ahmed thanked the President for the opportunity to serve and assured that the committee would not fail.
Noting that President Jonathan's administration was determined to see that the health sector was permanently brought back on course, Ahmed said times when doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratory scientist all spoke with one voice had gone under as things had gone haywire following the greed of "career progression and wanting to always head positions for reasons other than professionalism".
He, however, assured the President that by the time the committee presented it's report "we hope that this pimple who refused to disappear from the face of the beautiful lady (which is the health sector) will be a thing of the past, because all these acrimony will disappear".
Source: Daily Times