- Were expected to provide quality laboratory service to all Nigerian’s been an essential component of healthcare delivery system in Nigeria.
- With about eight thousand Private medical laboratories providing over 70,000 jobs, for laboratory scientist, MLT, MLA, drivers, lab managers, cleaners, biomedical engineers, reagent suppliers and importers etc.
- Private Medical laboratories are a major contributor to IGRs of most states in Nigeria, through payment of tax and revenues.
- Largest importer of laboratory consumables and equipment in Africa with annual import expenditure worth Millions of dollars. mostly from China, India, Japan, US etc. (largest consumers of laboratory consumables).
Very sadly though, the regulator (MLSCN) had remained a toothless bulldog without the capacity or temerity to control, make and enforce rules. Striped of her powers to enforce rules, this giant was rendered incommunicado and broken by the powers that be. With its many liaison offices scattered all over the country laced with the curtain of idleness, uncertainties and redundancy.
Recently came the announcement of the release of the protocol for laboratory inspection masterfully brewed by the FMoH. However, while we bask in the euphoria of the said pronunciation and implementation process, we are not also quick to forget in a hurry the carnage and catastrophic consequence of the ban on inspection/regulation of medical laboratories in Nigeria. Key players should be made to at least account or take responsibility for the level of rot and damage perpetrated against the profession.
The compounding effect of poor regulation is fast become a monster that if not checked may be more devastating than the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima. It had gradually but consistently eroded our dignity as medical laboratory scientist in the private sector, and gradually made nonsense of the efforts and vision of our founding fathers, going by the substantial evidence on ground.
Within the space of three years quacks had taken undue advantage of the helplessness of MLSCN, the industry witnessed a holocaust in the number of new laboratories established (over 8000) without recourse to registering with MLSCN, the spontaneous surge in the number of unregistered private laboratories led to unhealthy competition which kept the price of laboratory tests on a down turn despite increase in the running cost inflicted by the current recession.
- Proliferation of private medical laboratories without meeting guidelines as set by MLSCN.
- Some state agencies headed by Doctors and aided by our very own colleagues have taken up responsibility of registering, licensing, accrediting and monitoring private medical laboratories in various states across the country.
- The sector is also been bombarded with malicious policies targeted at strangulating the already suffocating private laboratories.
- This trend is worrisome as MLSCN is not even aware of the number of laboratories presently operating in the various states of the Federation.
- Apart from usurping the powers of MLSCN, some state agencies in a bid to increase their IGR have placed embargo on the provision of certain types of laboratory services, example is the Food handler Testing. while also slamming the already almost bankrupt laboratories with all manner of penalties and charges.
constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria