The Joint Health Sector Union and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals Association have jointly demanded an immediate and unconditional implementation of the approved consultation cadre circular of pharmacists in all federal health institutions.
The union in a statement by its Acting National Secretary, Matthew Ajirotu, thus called on the Federal Government to effect the payment of specialist allowances to deserving health professionals.
Meanwhile, Ajirotu bemoaned the different tactics employed to suppress attempts of non-physician health professionals to diversify and expand their knowledge base by refusing to accord them recognition when they bag post-graduate degrees and fellowship.
The statement read in part, “In 2021, Dr. Osagie Ehanire gave directives to the UCH, Ibadan Board to terminate the Consultant status of all non-physician health professionals. Pharmacists went through the entire gamut of due process, having secured approvals of the National Council on Establishment as far back as 2011 for their consultant cadre.
“In 2020 and 2021, official circulars were issued from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) who is also a physician, and the Federal Ministry of Health through its immediate past Permanent Secretary who was rated as one of the most seasoned bureaucrats of his generation to further boost the consultant cadre in pharmacy practice,” he stated.
The scribe noted that the Niger State Government already introduced the consultant cadre in pharmacy practice as far back as 2013, while states like Edo, Osun have since followed suit.
Ajurotu who also reminded that two pharmacists were appointed as consultants at the Aso Rock Villa Clinic in May, 2023, regretted that, “Dr. Enahire confirmed with the precedents of the inglorious era of Prof. Christian Chukwu and Prof. Isaac Adewole to insist that only physicians can be consultants in Federal Health Institutions by issuing a ridiculous circular through the infamous Department of Hospital Services that ties the appointment of pharmacists consultants based on vacancies which must be created by the Federal Ministry of Health”.
He informed that both the JOHESU and AHPA have critically appraised the development and decided that moving forward, “We demand, in tune with the official circulars for Consultants cadre in Pharmacy practice in the public sector, all the Federal Health Institutions must appoint at least 15 Pharmacist Consultants in each Teaching Hospital, while the Federal Medical Centre and its equivalents must have at least 10 Pharmacist Consultants,” it concluded.