Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) is a Federal Government Statutory Regulatory Agency established by Act 11 of 2003.
The functions of the Council as stipulated in Section 4 of the above Law, include as follows:
- Regulate the practice of Medical Laboratory Science in Nigeria
- Determine from time to time the standard of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become Medical Laboratory Scientists, Medical Laboratory Technicians, and Medical Laboratory Assistants (referred to as "Scientists', 'Technicians' and 'Assistants').
- Regulate the training of Scientists, Technicians, and Assistants in any institutions in Nigeria and give periodic accreditation to institutions.
- Provide and maintain a separate register for Scientists, Technicians, and Assistants.
- Regulate the production, importation, sales, and stocking of diagnostic laboratory reagents and chemicals.
- Assess, evaluate and register foreign graduates of Medical Laboratory Science
- Conduct examinations for Technicians and Assistants
- Inspect regulate and accredit Medical Laboratories (Public and Private) and
- Perform such other functions as may be conferred on it by the Act.
REGULATORY PERSPECTIVE ON THE PRACTICE OF MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE IN NIGERIA
- A practitioner of the profession of Medical Laboratory Science shall be one registered and licensed by the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria to practice as such as stipulated in Act 11 of 2003 i.e., such a person shall be a registered and licensed Medical Laboratory Scientist.
- Such a practitioner shall obtain a license to practice from the Council latest 31st day of March each year.
- Subject to the provision of Act 11, 2003 no person not being a fully registered medical laboratory scientist under the act shall be entitled to hold any appointment in the Public Service of the Federation or State or any public or private establishment or institution, if the holding of such appointment involves the performance within Nigeria of any act pertaining to the profession of Medical Laboratory Science for gain.
- All premises for the practice of Medical Laboratory Science shall operate with the knowledge and backing of the Council and be fully registered with the Council for such a purpose. (Visit www.mlscn.gov.ng for registration guidelines)
- Medical laboratories, whether Government owned or private, shall be headed by a medical laboratory scientist with cognate experience.
- A copy of the current license to practice shall be displayed in a conspicuous area on the business premises (Medical Laboratory)
- It is mandatory that all practitioners abide by the code of conduct that is made available to them on registration.
REGULATORY PERSPECTIVE ON MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING IN NIGERIA
- MLSCN is empowered by law to determine from time to time the standard of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become medical laboratory scientists, medical laboratory technicians, and medical laboratory assistants (referred to as "Scientists', Technicians' and 'Assistants').
- Pursuant to the above, the Council accredits programs in line with MLSCN Minimum Academic Standards both at the Universities and Colleges/Schools of Health Technology for the training of medical laboratory scientists and Technicians respectively
- Consequently, non-accredited training institutions are considered illegal, their students are not admissible for indexing, and professional examinations, and as such will not be inducted into the profession of Medical Laboratory Science upon graduation.
- In a nutshell, they will not be licensed to practice as Medical Laboratory Science professionals in Nigeria
In addition to the MLSCN Act 11 of 2003, MLSCN regulations are further strengthened through subsidiary legislation known as Federal Government of Nigeria gazette. These include:
- In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) Regulations 2021
- Regulations for Minimum Practice Standards 2018
- Rules of the Professional Conduct for Medical Laboratory Scientist, Laboratory Technicians and Laboratory Assistants 2018
- Medical Laboratories Inspection, Approval, Monitoring, and Certification Regulations 2018 • Protocol for Inspection of Medical Laboratories in Nigeria 2018
- The profession of medical laboratory science is regulated by the Medical Laboratory science Council of Nigeria by ensuring continuous adherence to the code of ethics and the standards of practice by professionals.
- The Council has zero tolerance for unethical and substandard practice as well as illegal training institutions and unregistered medical laboratory facilities
- Training standards and professional ethics in Medical Laboratory Science education and practice are sacrosanct, and adherence to such is compulsory for all professionals and interested stakeholders.
- Therefore, it is a penal offence to contravene the provisions of the MLSCN Act 11, 2003 with respect to medical laboratory education and practice in Nigeria
- The Council will, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law, continue to deal decisively with any individual(s) engaged in illegal training, and unethical and substandard practices including quacks and impersonators.
- Consequently, the MLSCN shall from February 2024 enforce massive compliance of minimum practice and training requirements in medical laboratory facilities and training institutions respectively.
Stakeholders, please take note.