The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has  warned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to steer clear of health matters and not to meddle in its affairs.


This was reacting to a purported circular from the CBN, where it directed the NMA to get product certification and registration from the Medical Laboratory Council as part of the criteria for importing in-vitro-diagnosis equipment into the country.
President of the association, Dr Kayode Obembe, said this while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
Obembe said, CBN?s action was capable of destroying the little progress made in the field of medicine.

The CBN had on April 24 released a circular signed by the acting director of trade and exchange department, J.O. Ajewole, to all authorised dealers and the general public informing them that, henceforth, all importers of the In-vitro diagnosis products into Nigeria must register with MLSCN.

He said that the country had established NAFDAC and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to maintain standards and ensure quality, adding that involving another regulatory body would only create more bottle necks that would not augur well for the sector.

Obembe pointed out that if such directive was allowed to continue, many health facilities would be frustrated out of business leading to the collapse of the little progress made in IVF.

According to him, other developed countries try to ease whatever processes if someone is importing medical equipment by removing obstacles like custom duties, duty free and making logistics free and easy and Nigeria should not be an exception.

His words, ? NAFDAC and SON should be allowed to continue their duties not adding another regulatory body to compound issues, we hope that he CBN will take the necessary action to address the issue If not the NMA will take all necessary action to see that the circular is not followed?.

Speaking on the threat by the Joint Health Sector Union to proceed on strike over government?s reluctance to honour their demands, the NMA president added that all workers must be relatively treated the same.

He explained that if there are plans to increase the salaries of one body, the gesture must cut across all the sector to ensure that harmony within the work force is maintained.

He said that in the event that JOHESU decides to go on strike, doctors would make sure that patients are being cared  for stressing that no health facility will be shut down.

On the Chibok girls kidnapping the NMA reiterated it?s plan to offer whatever services the girls may require when they are rescued.

He added the NMA was presently negotiating for security for doctors, due to the incessant kidnapping of doctors by unknown persons, plate numbers for doctors car to assist them in rescue operations and emergencies.


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