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On the proposed NCR bill before National Assembly (2) ~ By Paul John

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JOHESU and her affiliate bodies introduced the phrase ‘international best practices’ in our health sector the same way Late Murtala Ramat Muhammed introduced the phrase ‘My fellow countrymen’ to our presidential speeches. 

By such introduction, they want everything obtainable outside the country to be replicated here . Contrary to our expectations, it is now getting clearer that their own type of democracy does not work when they are losing.

I have read what many radiographers have written against the proposed bill that has passed second reading in the National Assembly, the recent being the joint communique issued recently by radiographers in Lagos.

They raised so many specious points that could easily sway gullible and subjective minds to their side. I will be responding to the points raised one after the other, however for this episode, I will only respond to two points, hoping to respond to others in my subsequent publications.

On the claim that the proposed bill is unnecessary as radiography already has a regulatory board. I always ask myself  pertinent questions if professionals that register their businesses with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) don’t have their own regulatory agencies/bodies.

What of the different specialties of Engineering profession that are under COREN (Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria), don’t they have their own individual regulatory boards?

The truth the radiographers will never tell Nigerians is that the proposed bill will bring sanity and totally eliminate quackery in the field of our Radiology and Radiation Medicine.

Quackery is not only limited to non-professionals parading themselves as professionals, it equally involves Professionals claiming what they are not. When a Radiographer claims to be and practices as a radiologist, that is another form of quackery.

Today, everybody in the health sector parades themselves as doctors because they are aware that with the high illiteracy level in the country, the title ‘doctor’, especially in the health sector, metonymically means a medical doctor.

Why will Radiographers want a bill that will ensure that they are  addressed as Radiographers while the specialist medical doctors in the field will be addressed as Radiologists? They still want to exploit the illiteracy of the Nigerian patients and still practice and parade themselves as Radiologists.

The next thing is to rush to the court and tell the court that Radiologists want to usurp their positions and they will never tell the court that bill is meant to harmonize the sub-sector.

This communique reminds me of our childhood experiences. Whenever any of us spoilt any of our home appliances, when our parents came back to ask who spoilt the gadget, the culprit would be the first person to deny and where necessary would accuse other siblings in order to shift attention from him/herself .

That ‘inspiration’ normally came naturally but our experienced parents knew how to single out the culprit and surprisingly confession would be made at the end of the day .Thereafter appropriate punitive measures would be meted out to the offender.

Why are they raising false alarm when JOHESU and her affiliate bodies have been the ones shouting that we should all work as a team? How can we work as a team when we refuse to come together to define our roles?

I seem not to understand the term ‘team’ as used by JOHESU and her allies because we have been working as a team unless there is another meaning attached to their own concept of a team.

If to work as a team, you expect the doctor to work as a cleaner or porter, that ill-conceived  team will, of course, not see the light of the day.

I want to let all Nigerians know through this publication that the people claiming that we should work as a team are now the ones saying that we should not belong to regulated team where our roles will be clearly defined as it is obtainable elsewhere in the world.

On the international scene, in the UK, we have British Institute of Radiology (BIR) that offers membership to radiologists, radiographers, medical physicists, radiotherapists, oncologists and companies working in the field of radiology.

Has BIR prevented or eliminated the different regulatory bodies of her members?

In America, we have American College of Radiology (ACR)  founded in 1924. The list continues. There are so many international councils that bring radiologists, radiographers and all other professionals in Radiological sciences and Radiation Medicine  together all over the world, why is Nigerian case different?

Don’t we have individual regulatory boards in those countries? If we cannot replicate in Nigeria what is obtainable in saner climes ,where lies our conscience in shouting for ‘International best practices’ or is the phrase only applied when JOHESU wants to take over the leadership of our health sector from medical doctors?

On the claim that the bill was ill-conceived and unnecessarily calling Hon Patrick Asadu’s name, it depends on their understanding of something being ill-conceived.

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