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National Hospital doctors task FG on new CMD

By    Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), National Hospital, Abuja branch has insisted that the management board of the hospital should look inward…

By    Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), National Hospital, Abuja branch has insisted that the management board of the hospital should look inward for the appointment of the new Chief Medical Director (CMD), arguing that appointing an insider would foster speedy development.

The doctors also insisted that the appointment should be made in strict adherence to the recently implemented public service reforms regarding tenure of directors, permanent secretaries and chief executives of parastatals, prescribing a maximum tenure of eight years irrespective of where the service was rendered. They also said that persons above 56 years be excluded from the appointment as they would attain the mandatory retirement age before the expiration of their tenure.

A statement issued by Dr. A.M. Babakolobe, Chairman and Dr. T. Uwaezuoke, Secretary  of the association also argued that the candidates should have no conflict of interest such as owning business or having interest in any business which competes or does business with National Hospital.

But in a telephone interview with Sunday Trust, the President of the Nigeria Medical Association of Nigeria, Dr. Idris Omede, said no rule precludes any doctor in public service from private practice, provided he did not use his official hours for his private assignment.

The NMA president explained that since it was not against public service rule, persons with interest in private business, but does not interfere with his public practice may not be any serious issue in aspiring for an executive position.

The medical consultants also expressed worry that as major stakeholders in the selection the board has not carried them along, adding that the entire exercise was shrouded in secrecy even when the board had told the doctors that the exercise would be transparent.

They also alleged that, “Better qualified and more competent hands were disqualified ostensibly to pave way for easy emergence of the anointed candidate of the cabal. The standard practice whereby doctors are screened and assessed by the body of consultants before being forwarded to the board of directors was the same mechanism that saw the emergence CMDs without rancor and bitterness.”  

According to them, “Many examples abound as similar procedures saw to the successful emergence of Dr.  Peter Alabi of Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital, now University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Dr Ishaya Pam of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), and even that of the National Hospital itself where the out-going CMD Dr. Z. O. Ajuwon was suggested amongst others to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and the present acting CMD Dr Lamidi Audu emerged through similar exercise, when he was appointed the CMAC (Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee).

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