Nigerian medical doctors have again insisted that they do not need to have a doctorate to head teaching hospitals in the country. The doctors reaffirmed that fellowship remained the highest academic and professional qualification in human medicine.
They stated this in a recent communiqué at the Nigerian Medical Association’s annual general conference and delegates meeting.
The NMA restated its position that possession of a PhD was not a prerequisite qualification for career progression and attainment of the chief executive position by medical doctors in tertiary institutions, including any university in Nigeria. The NMA is also consulting with “relevant offices” to clarify consultant pharmacists’ appointment as a new public service cadre.
According to the NMA, the consultation will help clarify ambiguous areas, ensuring that the doctor’s role in being the final decision-making authority in patient care remains intact. “The conference directed the National Officers Committee (NOC) to appraise all issues connected with the effective implementation of doctors’ stamp,” said the NMA.
It called for the strengthening of advocacy to relevant authorities and members for the appropriate recognition and endorsement of the doctor’s stamp. The doctors said they reviewed the report of NMA’s engagement with the head of Civil Service of the Federation regarding a circular about the scheme of service and salary status of house officers.
It urged the OHCSF to withdraw the circulars, modify and insert exemption clauses that protect medical qualifications, scheme of service, and salary status of the house officers. The NMA, however, resolved to continue the engagement with the OHCSF to ensure that reforms in the wider public service do not short-change the profession.
The communiqué added that the conference ratified the award of the Fellowship of the NMA (FNMA) to three of its past presidents: George Okpagu, Dominic Osaghae, and Dr Osahon Enabulele.