By Adedayo Akinwale
Radiography Lecturers Association of Nigeria has condemned what it described as attempt by some Nigerians to disrupt the existing harmony among healthcare professionals in Nigeria, by their misguided demand to have the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) Act amended in order to allow certain non-professionals to intrude into other professions outside their scope of study, specialisation and training.
National Publicity Secretary of the association, Prof. Anthony Ugwu alleged in a statement issued to journalists in Abuja that the these medical professionals have illegally been encroaching into the profession of Medical Laboratory Scientists, who had on several occasions defeated them in court, and deprived them of such illicit right of inordinate intrusion.
He described as crude and insulting, the presentation of a bill for the amendment to the National Assembly to allow medical doctors the legal rights to do the jobs of radiographers and medical laboratory scientists.
“Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria (RRBN), established and empowered as a statutory regulatory body for Radiography and Medical imaging science practice in Nigeria as contained in December 17, 1987 Act. Similar sundry extant laws exist for all healthcare professions including physicians and dentists.
“It is therefore worrisome that greed, lust and stark unprofessionalism are propelling some Nigerians into making professional encroachments their stock in trade via some unwarranted amendments contained in the bill served to the parliament.
“As patriotic Nigerians, we have resolved to stand by our representatives and defend the integrity of our constitution and Acts governing our professional regulatory bodies to ensure that the carnal cravings by some doctors to usurp our powers and rights illegally does not see the light of the day,” he explained.
Ugwu noted that it will amount to legislative incongruity if the amended version of MDCN Act is allowed to stand, describing it as an overlap and wanton scandal on the national concourse.
According to him, such undue politics is against the overall welfare of, and care for, patients, who are the universal beneficiary of all judicious medical and health practice.
“The Radiographers Registration Act empowers the Radiographers Board to regulate radiography practice in Nigeria and this is what Article 9 of Part ll of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria bill is trying to usurp. The mention of Associations in the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Act and the prenatal death bill also contravene the Nigerian Constitution, which gives us right to freedom of association as contained in Section 40. Someone can be a qualified nurse, radiographer or physician but may not want to join the professional association. This should not deny the person any statutory benefit or opportunity to serve our country. Individuals should be appointed by either the minister or the council to represent their professions and not the associations,” Ugwu explained.
According to him, “these actions are geared towards professional profiling, humiliation, subjugation, violation of the radiographers’ constitutional and professional right, and would impugn patient care which is the main focus of healthcare worldwide” .
He argued that this “show of disdain against the radiography profession, in favour of radiology, which is not a profession will continue to push the diagnostic arm of our health care and sector, which is the pivot of health-care into the abyss with its attendant catastrophic effects on the poor masses”.