The Association of Radiographers of Nigeria (ARN) has called on the House of Representatives not to pass the bill for the establishment of the National Council of Radiology and Radiation Medicine.
The President of the association, Mrs Elizabeth Balogun, made the call at a news conference in Lagos on Sunday.
Balogun said that the bill (titled:
- “A Bill for an Act to Establish the National Council of Radiology and Radiation Medicine to Provide for the Control and Practice of the Profession of Radiology, Radiation Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, Radiotherapy, Radiography, Medical Physics and Technology and for Other Related Matters” ) sought to put together professions that already had regulatory bodies, including radiography, medicine, nursing, and engineering into one regulatory council.
According to her, the average Nigerian will not stand to gain anything from the bill but extra burden and duplication of duties of existing regulatory bodies.
“The bill plans to bring different professionals who are comfortable where they have been and it is not going to add anything, but rather create an opportunity for a specialisation to lord things over everybody.
“It will do more harm than good to the health sector, which in turn affects the general public.
“We want radiographers to regulate radiographers and the country has given us the opportunity to do that to be able to deliver good services to the Nigerian populace,” she said.
Radiographers in the country must not only be formally trained but must registered and qualified to be proficient enough to handle imaging techniques. That includes X-ray imaging, ultrasound, Computed Tomographic Imaging (CT Scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), among others.
“We call on well-meaning Nigerians and the entire citizenry to call for active participation of radiographers who are the end users in standard radio diagnostic equipment purchase.
“We make the call in order for Nigerians to help in accelerating the goal toward standard health care delivery rather than allowing the bill scale through.
“Enough of making our hospitals museums where equipment do not work; we want our radiographers to be part of the procurement process.
“We want to have a say so that when we guide the government, it can buy the equipment that will be used in our hospitals and will not have to send our patients outside.
“The sets of equipment are expensive; we guard them jealously and we want to be able to help Nigerians for their treatment,” Balogun said.
She said that the association had consulted the Federal Ministry of Health on the matter and the ministry promised to look into it.
The Chairman, Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria (RRBN), Mr Abdulfatai Bakare, said that the proposed bill was not beneficial to the general public.
Bakare said that the bill was rather going to cause disharmony within the already fragile health sector in the country.
“The bill does not mean well for the good health of the general public and it is going to amount to huge waste of public funds.
“It will compound the challenges facing the health institutions; it will amount to obstruction of duties in the hospitals and further abate quackery.
“We are representing the interest of Nigerians where people will receive value for their money; whenever they want to seek services, they should get good services for the money they are paying,” he said.
The chairman said that both the board and association were not in support of the bill because they were not consulted before it was presented to the House.
“We have a moral and legal right at the same time for whoever is proposing this bill to consult us before presenting it, “ Bakare said.
The bill has passed the first and second reading and is currently awaiting a date for public hearing.
(Source: NAN )