RE: FG CENTRALIZES MEDICAL AND DENTAL GRADUATES’ HOUSEMANSHIP AND INTERNSHIP POSTING
The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA), the professional association of all nurses with a minimum qualification of first degree in nursing, and all the Nurses under its commune bring you a nightingale's greeting. The association wishes to seize this opportunity to superlatively commend your dogged efforts in keeping the country up and moving at this tempestuous and tumultuous period in our history, when the polity is charged and heated up in the face of absence of our dear President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, occasioned by his protracted ill-health. As we pray for the quick recovery of our President, we equally pray that our good God, who made you our leader at this auspicious moment, shall avail you all the wisdom and strength to turn the fortunes of our dear country for good.
2. The news item published on the above subject matter by Daily Trust Newspaper on 9th of June, 2017 prompted our humble correspondence in writing. (Please kindly refer to the publication herewith attached as Annexure A).
3. Notwithstanding how disturbing some of the clauses in the article sounded, we wish to state that it is a noble idea to consider adopting a centralized posting methodology for Housemanship and internship to address the inherent flaws in the current clumsy approach that is akin to, if not more cumbersome than, the bureaucratic process of employment into the Civil Service.
4. In the current dispensation, interns and house officers are unduly subjected to tortuous and exploitative journeys round the country in search for elusive placement for the mandatory one year internship training without which their full registration and licensure by their respective statutory regulatory bodies is impossible.
5. This perennial burden of inability to secure a place for internship training or housemanship, as the case maybe, is a general problem that torments the fresh graduates of all the core healthcare disciplines whose full registration and licensure are tied to the internship training.
6. Be it in Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Optometry or Physiotherapy, the story is the same – the wanton difficulty in securing an internship placement stalls smooth graduation of students of all the core healthcare disciplines and unnecessarily increases the length and cost of training, and at the same time robs the country of qualified manpower needed to drive effective care delivery in our health system.
7. As good as the idea of centralized posting sounded, the declaration that it shall be limited to only fresh Physicians and Dentists – whose registration and licensure are regulated by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), is to say the least, divisive, oppressive and discriminatory. Such posture is an ill wind that will blow nobody any good in our health system but rather is an express call to anarchy, chaos, bad-blood and dangerous bicker that shall not only worsen the already shattered industrial relation in the health sector but equally worsen the existing threat to our national unity and peace.
8. His Excellency, we sincerely do not believe that the said Newspaper publication truly reflected the decision of a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting ably chaired by your humble, impartial and distinguished self. There is no gainsaying emphasizing that equity breeds peace and peace breeds unity and progress because you know better as a revered inner member of the learned profession.
9. Can this our health system that thrives on injustice, inequity, pathological professional chauvinism, hegemonic oppression and suppression of talents ever develop beyond this clobber of a mess to compete with the health systems of other climes?
10. Since healthcare delivery is a team effort, what sense does it make to conduct a centralized posting for only the graduates of Medicine and leave the graduates of other core healthcare disciplines that constitute a critical and indispensable part of the healthcare team to wallow in peril?
11. Because healthcare delivery is a team work and the lives of people are collectively entrusted to the healthcare team, all the members of the team must be given equal opportunity to be adequately trained to be able to perform their duties in the team effectively and efficiently.
12. As each of the core healthcare professions has a separate statutory regulatory body that handles issues of registration and licensure of its members, all should be concurrently empowered to conduct a centralized posting for their prospective interns. Consequently, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and other statutory regulatory bodies, just like the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), must be empowered concurrently to conduct a centralized posting for their interns in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice.
13. His Excellency, as a Pastor and a Professor of Law, this association strongly believes that you cannot allow the entrenched characteristic discrimination, injustice, inequity, oppression and wanton marginalization that has eroded the fabric of development in our health system to continue to thrive under your watch. We therefore passionately call on you to urgently nip this cankerworm in the bud lest it escalates to a regrettable and avoidable scenario.
With utmost sense of humility and deep respect, we strongly and passionately submit the following prayers for your kind consideration:
1. Go ahead with the noble idea of centralized posting of fresh graduates for internship, but empower all the statutory regulatory bodies, in the Federal Ministry of Health, to do so for and on behalf of their respective prospective interns.
2. Prevail on the concerned authorities to jettison the sinister idea that it is only the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) that shall be empowered to undertake a centralized posting for its graduates, at the expense of other statutory regulatory bodies whose members are core healthcare professionals that form critical and indispensable part of the healthcare team, as such a plan is not only divisive and oppressive but also a direct invitation to anarchy and industrial disharmony.
3. Empower the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) to commence a centralized internship posting for fresh graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree to enhance qualitative and responsive manpower development in Nursing Science, as nurses remain the central coordinating elements of the healthcare team with highest workload in client care, who stay with clients round-the-clock, and upon which every other healthcare team members must rely to effectively function.
Please kindly accept the assurances of our esteemed warmest regard as we anticipate and appreciate your favorable response.
Submitted with deepest sense of respect and responsibility!
Chief (Hon) S.E.O. EGWUENU National President
Nurse G.I. Nshi National Secretary