By Hajara Leman, Gombe.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged the National Assembly to review the Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Act to guard against ambiguity in the law.
The association also decried the sponsoring of a bill for establishment of the Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Board in the country.
The National President of NMA, Dr Uche Ojinmah, made the call at a news conference, at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Sunday in Gombe.
He said that the legislation was repugnant to the charter signed by African countries on the establishment of boards for African traditional medicine.
“We wish to point out that complementary and alternative medicine is different from traditional medicine, and these are domains controlled by dental and medical council.
“And the bill, if passed, would conflict with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) Act.
“We, therefore, call on government and the National Assembly to quickly amend the title and the functions contained in that bill.
“Let it be Control of African Traditional Medicine but not complementary and alternative medicine, which means a different thing,” he said
Ojinmah urged the government to expedite action on the extension of doctors’ retirement age, saying that it was one of the easiest ways to stop the brain-drain in the medical profession.
Commenting on hazard allowances, the NMA chief said that the association had issued a two-month ultimatum for government to resolve the issue.
He said that the NMA also frowned at the wave of insecurity in Nigeria, which had frustrated patients and medical personnel from accessing health facilities in parts of the country.
“The association noted with dismay the security situation and incidence of kidnapping in parts of the country.
“Health workers have been targeted in some communities, with some of them kidnapped while discharging their duties,” he said.
The NMA president urged government at all levels and security agencies to address the security challenges bedevilling the country.
Ojinmah stressed that proactive measures were necessary to deal with the worsening health indicators, so as to effectively tackle the brain-drain in the health sector.