The Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, on Monday raised the alarm over what it described as “continuous disruption” of post-graduate specialty and skill acquisition endeavours by Chief Medical Directors and Medical Directors of Federal Health Institutions, FHI, in Nigeria, accusing them of sabotaging the residency training circular of Resident Pharmacists.
In a circular sighted by Vanguard, Acting National Secretary of JOHESU, Comrade Matthew Ajorutu alleged that all the Chief Executive Officers of FHIs with the backing of the Federal Ministry of Health, FMoH have sabotaged the residency training and a few FHIs that allow resident training for Pharmacists charge them exorbitant fees contrary to the enabling circulars.
He argued that the development was contrary to the 2015 circular by the FMoH under the leadership of the Permanent Secretary Mr. Linus Awute, which approved the use of all FHIs in the country as training facilities for Resident Pharmacists in-training at the WAPCP through a circular.
He regretted that 11 years after National Council on Establishment, NCE, endorsed a Consultant Pharmacist Cadre, FMoH in alliance with the Committee of CMDs and MDs of the FHIs have sabotaged the circular which prescribes that graduates of the WAPCP in the Directorate Cadre from CONHESS 13 to 15 be recognised as Consultant Pharmacists in the Public Service.
“In what was perceived as very bizzare the FMoH recently wrote a memo to the NCE asking for further clarifications on the implementation of the Consultant Cadre circular for Pharmacists.
“This memo was rejected and thrown out by the NCE which insisted that all necessary steps for implementation of the Consultant Cadre for Pharmacists were already spelt out in the August 2021 Circular of the FMoH.
“It is noteworthy that the Permanent Secretary, FMoH in a letter Ref. no. FMH/FDS/CSPTH/1/77 OF March 18, 2021, issued an internal circular to all Heads of Departments, FHIs, Agencies/Parastatals and regulatory bodies directing immediate implementation of the approved scheme, a circular that has continually been flouted by the CMDs and MDs of the FHIs.
“In yet another internal circular Ref. No. FMH/FDS/CSPTH/1/95 of August 2, 2021 while citing precedents in the creation of Cadres in Civil Service, the FMoH CLEARED the mode of application for the implementation of the Consultant Pharmacists Cadre.
“It hinged this on the Fellow of the WAPCP for officers already in the Directorate Cadre or the equivalent of GL.15 and above stating without ambiguity that such officers shall transit to the corresponding GL as Consultant without stepping down any grade.
“Despite the flawless process that engendered the approval of the Consultant Pharmacists Cadre, it remains a sad testimony that only the UCH, Ibadan and about two other FHIs as well as the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria have complied with the circular of the OHCSF and the FMoH to implement the new Consultant Pharmacists Cadre, it is apparent that some key chieftains of the FMoH have colluded with the CEOs of the FHIs to attempt to jeopardize the Pharmacists Cadre.“Government apathy and refusal to impose sanctions on the reckless attitude of the CMDs amounts to promoting indiscipline in the service as well as a clear usurpation of the collective authorization, rights and privileges of Pharmacists and the Generality of all Health Workers in Nigeria.
“We sound a note of caution yet again that the CMDs and MDs are employees of the Federal Government who should not be allowed to truncate the rights of other employees.
“They are not employers of labour, regulatory bodies or autonomous organs of government which dictates what the benefit packages of any group of stakeholders in the Health Sector should or should not be in arithmetical or other known measures.
“The HOCSF is called upon to uphold the mode of implementation already clearly and unambiguously documented in the circular Ref. No. FMH/FDS/CSPTH/1/95 of August 2, 2021.
“This circular clarified the mode of applicability and full implementation of the Consultant Pharmacists Cadre in Nigeria.
They enjoyed HOCSF to invoke PSR 030301 against all the CMDs and MDs in FHIs immediately so as not to continue to set this ungodly precedence of indiscipline and recklessness in service protocol.
“The HOCSF is further encouraged to note that PSR 030301 defines misconduct as a “specific act of wrong-doing or an improper behaviour which is inimical to the image of the service and can be investigated and proved.
“HOCSF ma, the incentive for the various aberrations at the FHIs is catalysed by the apparent inaction/action of the Federal Government to deal decisively with obvious aberrations perpetrated by the CMDs and MDs of the concerned FHIs,” the circular noted.