Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole has called on healthcare professionals to shun all forms of malpractice so as not to toy with the lives of people seeking medical care.
The minister told a gathering of laboratory scientists on Tuesday in Kaduna that the Federal Government would strengthen existing mechanisms to prevent quacks from taking over the health system.
The minister spoke at the opening of the 53rd National Scientific Conference of Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria.
“The ministry is very much committed to quality laboratory services in Nigeria, this accounted for the inauguration of the Laboratory Technical Working Group (TWG) recently.
“This is to avert the danger of leaving the fortunes of patients and clients in the hands of quacks or impostors.
“The professionals must imbibe the ethics and code of conduct of your profession.
“The lives of everybody are sacred and must be treated as such. Every clinical sample must be treated as a matter of life and survival; professional malpractice must be abhorred by your members.
“Government shall continue to strengthen health regulatory bodies for optimum performance and quality.
“Laboratory accreditation and monitoring will be strengthened to prevent quacks having any hiding place.’’ The minister said.
Adewole, who was represented at the event by Dr Joseph Amedu, also urged the laboratory scientists to delve into research to enhance the quality of health care services in the country.
He assured that the government would encourage and provide enabling environment and resources to strengthen the health system.
“The ministry believes that efficient and motivated work force and professionals are necessary requirements to drastically reduce the present poor health indices in Nigeria.
“Average life span is lower, maternal mortality is among the highest and infant/child mortality is also alarming compared to those in the western world.
“As Medical Laboratory Scientists, you have to scale-up your efficient and quality diagnostic competences, scale up your contributions to human resource development through teaching and lecturing of the younger ones in the universities, colleges etc.
“Your roles in research and preventive health such as vaccine production need to be scaled up.
“I know that some of your members work in research institutes as well; you must scale-up your competences in areas of translational research for national health and development.
“As scientists, you must always remember that research is one of the engines that drive the economy of any country,’’ the minister said.
Adewole called for collaboration among all health professionals to enhance service delivery and strengthen the health system.’’
The acting Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Barnabas Bantex, urged the laboratory scientists to pursue excellence in order to sustain primary healthcare, which he described as the cornerstone of any health system.
Bantex disclosed that the state government had embarked on the upgrade of 255 primary health centres across the state and pledged that functional laboratories would be provided in all the centres.
Earlier, President of the association, Toyesin Raheem, called on the federal government to use NAFDAC laboratories to check the quality of medical diagnosis coming into the country.
He urged the minister to check professional rivalry in the health sector, to save the health system from collapse.
Raheem said the association was working closely with relevant bodies to eliminate quackery and professional malpractice.