JOHESU canvasses amendment of MDCN Act

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Dayo Ojerinde

The Joint Health Sector Unions has urged the Senate to amend the proposed MDCN Act, 2020, saying the bill will further cause division in the country’s health sector.

JOHESU president, Comrade Bio Josiah, at the public hearing of the MDCN Act, 2020, by the senate committee on health reminded the committee of the existing rules of the National Assembly not to consider legislating on matters before the court.

“We draw the attention of the senate committee on health to the fact that the issue of the regulatory agency which has powers to regulate and control clinical/medical laboratory practice in the field of pathology is an on-going suit at the Court of Appeal. For the records, the NICN in Suit no. NICN/ABJ/284/2014 had ruled that MLSCN has such powers in Nigeria.

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“The National Assembly must avoid the reality of chaos in the health system by reckoning with the fact that the proposed Section 4(9) of MDCN Bill is in direct conflict with Section 4(b) and Section 29 of the MLSCN Act CAP 525 LFN 2004,” the statement reads in part.

The union urged the senate committee on health to adjust section 42(1) of the proposed bill.

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It said, “Amend section 42(2)b to read, ‘take or use the title of dental surgeon, dentist, dental officer or dental practitioner.’

“In tandem with due process, it is the NUC under its enabling act that has powers to draw and approve the curriculum of all academic programmes in Nigeria.

“If the NUC has graciously approved Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Optometry, Doctor of Physiotherapy, and related programmes in the health sector, the MDCN has no statutory powers to decree that holders of these degrees and titles cannot bear the title of doctors neither can such constitute an offence within the purview of law.”

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The union stressed the need to promote strong evolution of the different professions in the health sector, saying this would guarantee harmony in the industry.

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