By Hassan Zaggi
Following the ruling of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, on June 4, 2018, on the contempt of court proceedings initiated against the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Professor Edmund Banwat and the Director of Administration, Mr. Ali Bitrus, the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria (AMLSN) has faulted the interpretation of the judgment by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).
It would be recalled that recently, the NMA in a statement claimed that the Court of Appeal has confirmed that Chief Medical Directors/Medical Directors (CMDs/MDs) are not under any legal obligation to set up the Department of Medical Laboratory Science aside from the Pathology Laboratories departments headed by qualified Pathologists in hospitals in Nigeria.
In the statement, the NMA said: “This is sequel to the judgment of the Court of Appeal on the 4th of June, 2018 in the case with Appeal No. CA/A/410/2017 “between Professor Edmund Banwat (CMD JUTH) and Mr. Ali Bitrus (DA JUTH) – Appellants Versus Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, Association of Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria (JUTH Chapter), Mr. Ntuhun Bala Dennis Chairman AMLSN JUTH Chapter and Mr. Binde Samuel Zwakun Secretary AMSLN JUTH Chapter – Respondents.”
However, in a reaction, the AMLSN described as untrue and “ the NMA’s continued penchant for deceiving the Nigerian people and their inordinate scorn for the Nigeria Judiciary.”
In a statement by the Public Relations Secretary of the AMLSN, Dr. Casmir Ifeanyi Cajetan, the AMLSN said: “Whereas, the Court of appeal in its judgment of 4/6/2018, ruled that since the court order was not served on the CMD and the DA, the contempt process was defective, the court never averred as claimed by the NMA that CMDs/MDs are not under any legal obligation to set up the Department of Medical Laboratory Science.
“Equally, the Appeal Court neither made reference to the existence of Pathology Laboratory in our hospitals nor their headship by pathologists.
“Obviously, the NMA does not appear to know the difference between the Department of Medical Laboratory Science and a Department of Medical Laboratory Service.”
The AMSLN Spokesman further reiterated that his group is unaware of any law of the Federation and/or extant schemes of service duly approved by the National Council on Establishment (NCE) that subordinates medical laboratory scientists to pathologists “as being dishonestly advocated and unlawfully implied by NMA.”
The AMSLN however, insisted that whenever and wherever Medical Laboratory Scientists are employed to work in the public health sector of the country, they are willing to collaborate with other health professionals (including Doctors/Pathologists) towards an efficient public health delivery to Nigerians.