Thought Leadership

On the regulation of Nigerian health professionals

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An anonymous commentator on the last post mentioned that the next Minister must put in place a regulatory body to which health professionals are accountable, to deal with cases of negligence and breaches of professional ethics. The commentator mentioned the General Medical council in the UK as a possible model.

The truth is that these bodies already exist in Nigeria. The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria is supposed to fulfil that role for doctors and the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria is supposed to do the same for nurses and midwives.

However, the question of how effective these organizations are is a valid one. Strengthening the capacity of these regulatory bodies should be an important aspect of improving healthcare in Nigeria, yet there is little evidence that they are being provided with the tools, resources and capacity that they need.

With a large proportion of Nigerians receiving healthcare from private providers, the need to strengthen the regulatory bodies is very important.

An interesting seminar on the topic was held by the African Leadership Forum nearly fifteen years ago, whether anything has changed since then is open to debate.

On a lighter note, it was interesting to read the following extract from the Standards for Nigerian nurses ” (Nurses must.. Always appear Neat and decently dressed, without using bogus/dangling earrings, long and big wigs (all hair do must not extend below the neck level), high heeled shoes, long painted nails and bogus make up while on duty and in uniform. “

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

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