Setting the records straight in a misleading Public Notice issued by the College of Nigerian Pathologists
The attention of the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN) has been drawn to a misleading Public Notice published on behalf of the College of Nigerian Pathologists in some national dailies.
Having regard to the current collaborative efforts by the PTF, NCDC, FMOH, MLSCN and other relevant and serious health workers/institutions in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and the entire world, it is necessary to set the record straight in order to avoid unnecessary distractions by the CNP.
For the records, the mandate of the MLSCN is derived from the extent law which created it – MLSCN Act 2003. Thus, courts of competent jurisdiction on different dates over the years, declared that the Council is the Statutory Regulator for the practice of Medical Laboratory Science/Medical Laboratory Services throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria.
The Courts went further to pronounce that only professionals regulated and or subject to the Council in Nigeria and who are qualified Medical Laboratory Scientists that are entitled to practice as Professional Medical Laboratory Scientists within the meaning and intendment of the MLSCN ACT 2003. (See Suits Nos: NICN/ABJ/128/2012 and NICN/ABJ/284/214 among others, which were decided on 23rd Oct. 2013 and 27th January, 2016respectively).
In specific terms, the Court in one of the cases mentioned above (OAU Ife Case), ordered that Pathologists should henceforth concentrate their energies on those aspects of medicine that are peculiar to them and not covered by the MLSCN Act of 2003.
The Court unequivocally ruled that the 2003 Act impliedly amended the MDPA because the former was enacted later in time.The implication of all this is that a profession has been created of Medical Laboratory Science in Nigeria.
In view of the clear provisions of the Law and the consequent Courts’ pronouncement on same as stated above, the general Public is enjoined to disregard the Public Notice of the CNP as it was designed to create petty inter professional rivalries that is not needed in this period of a global pandemic when all efforts should be geared towards saving lives against COVID-19.
There is therefore no room for either professional or personal aggrandizement in the current health emergency.
Furthermore, without any iota of contradiction, we wish to state that the Council did not at any time overreached its boundaries in the performance of its statutorily assigned duties.
Also, it did not create any confusion in its education of the general Public as falsely claimed by the CNP. At best, the current noise from the CNP is an orchestrated mischief and blackmail designed to seek attentionand curry underserved favours from the government.
Moreover, it is disheartening to observe that the CNP is openly encouraging its members to break the Laws of the Country with impunity through the said widely publicized Public Notice. The Protocols for addressing the current pandemic by the PTF, NCDC, FMOH, MLSCN and other serious stakeholders are in the public domain.They were primarily designed to defeat COVID-19 and save the lives of Nigerians and never to massage the ego of any healthcare professional.
Have regard to the above, we counsel CNP to stop making misleading statements to the general public who are already traumatized by COVID-19 with its attendant lockdowns and debilitating economic stagnation in all sectors. They should therefore stop the exhibition of sheer ignorance and come down from their olympian heights to learn from the guides offered by the MLSCN.
Finally, it should be noted that the guidelines for the Rapid Test kits (RTKs) for COVID-19 issued by the Council is a product of collaborative efforts with other major stakeholders in the frontline of the war against the current pandemic. As we all know over the world, COVID-19 is blind to politics and has no room for professional competitions. The guiding creed in all this is securing the lives of our people from the pandemic, period!
The CNP, in the light of the above, should allow the Council to continue to perform its urgent functions without let or hindrance in the midst of the current national and indeed global health emergency!!!
DR. TOSAN ERHABOR