The House of Representatives has passed for second reading, a bill seeking to establish a Federal School of Nursing and Midwifery in Lagos.
This is just as the sponsor of the bill, Taofeek Alli, blamed quackery in the medical profession on greed while attributing the mass migration of Nigerians in the field to poor welfare packages.
At the plenary on Wednesday, the House approved Alli’s legislation, titled ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of Federal School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mushin, Lagos State to Provide Training and Research in General Nursing, Midwifery and Other Specialties of Nursing.’
In his lead debate, the lawmaker noted that the role of nursing has been changing in recent times, focusing on comprehensive care, disease prevention, evaluation and monitoring in times of epidemic or pandemics, preparing and planning for anticipated challenges, maintaining effective supply and usage of sanitation materials and personal protective equipment.
He added that it also offers screening information, confinement guidelines and triage protocols as seen during the COVID19 crisis. He stated, “This is the challenge!”
Alli further noted that nurses comprise the largest sub-sector of the healthcare workforce, with more than 20 million of them worldwide.
He said, “Obviously, the push factors that encourage nurses to emigrate include low wages, poor working conditions, low job satisfaction and few opportunities for professional growth as well as unstable or hostile socio-political conditions in the home country.
“Although other factors are also important, the wage differential between source and destination countries is the single most important driver of nurse migration. The significance of wage differential between source and destination countries as a determinant factor of migratory patterns is better appreciated by noting that in terms of purchasing power parity — an average Canadian nurse in 2020 made 14 times more than a nurse in Nigeria. This is a long-term challenge; we have to train more nurses to fill this dangerous and inexorable gap.
“Intrinsically, the nexus between population, human wellbeing and healthcare workers is unambiguous and critical, and this does not favour Lagos State in any way. This succinctly explains why we need to train more nurses to eradicate quackery and save the precious lives of our dear people in Lagos State.”
The lawmaker added, “What is the cost of not training more nurses in Lagos? In Lagos, quackery is widespread, leading to the loss of innocent and precious souls, and our inability to act is apparently inadmissible. The proliferation of quackery in the nursing profession can be linked to many sources, which include doctors and nurses’ greed and selfishness in the need to make mega-profits from practice in private hospitals and clinics; lack of political will and commitment towards the health sector; poor regulation and routine supervision by professional associations; ignorance and misinformation are not left out.
“The cost of allowing quack nurses to practise meant increased maternal and childhood mortality, increased employment rate of quack nurses and midwifery, discredited medical and nursing education, poor treatment outcome and weakened healthcare system.”