By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Doctors under the payroll of the Lagos State government have kicked against the recent appointment of Mr Segun Adeniji as the Permanent Secretary for the Lagos State Health Service Commission.
The aggrieved doctors, under the aegis of Medical Guild, explained that their rejection of Mr Adeniji was based on the fact that the appointee is not a medical professional.
Mr Adeniji was among the six new permanent secretaries appointed by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on December 27, 2018 and sworn into office on December 31, 2018.
He was initially the General Manager of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).
Chairman of Medical Guild, Dr Babajide Saheed, said on Thursday in Lagos that the appointment of Mr Adeniji violated the state Health Reform Law.
According to him, the law signed in 2006 by a former governor of the state, Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu, established the appointment of a permanent secretary to the commission.
“After our complaints through letters, advocacy and press conferences, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode still appointed Mr Segun Adeniji as the Permanent Secretary of the commission in spite of the law.
“The government has violated the law again after a previous violation and not following the rules of law, which is one of the cardinal principles and policies of this government,” he said.
Mr Saheed made a copy of the law available which stated the criteria for the appointment of a permanent secretary of the commission.
Part 2, Section 8 of the law said, “There shall be a commission Secretariat which shall be headed by a Permanent Secretary who shall be a medical/healthcare professional in the public health sector.
“The Permanent Secretary shall have a minimum of 15 years post-qualification experience in medical practice and experienced in public administration.”
The guild chairman said, “Medical doctors are the only set of workers that have medical practice and fit into the criteria mentioned in the law.
“Government must be seen as one that follows, respect and abide by the laws of the state by appointing a medical doctor as permanent secretary of the commission and redeploy Mr Segun Adeniji to another ministry, agency or parastatal.“
He said that there were implications surrounding the appointment of a non-doctor as permanent secretary of the commission including lack of knowledge about medical practice.
Mr Saheed said that such lack of knowledge of medical practice would affect quality healthcare delivery.
“The person lacks experience and knowledge about healthcare system and therefore will start to learn about the system, which is dangerous for the provision of qualitative healthcare delivery.
“You do not learn rudimentary things at the level of permanent secretary.
“Also, the person will not be able to produce a qualitative healthcare policy for the betterment of the society.
“Doctors are thought all aspects of medical care delivery in the university, including medicine, surgery, laboratory medicine, pharmacology, nursing and physiotherapy,” Mr Saheed said.
Mr Segun Adeniji is 1984 graduate of University of Lagos, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in History.
In 1995, he obtained a Master of Public Administration from the Lagos State University, Ojo and in 2013, a Commonwealth Diploma in Youth Development from the University of Abuja.
Mr Adeniji started his Public Service career as an Assistant Secretary II, GL.08 in the then Lagos Refuse Disposal Board on November 18, 1985 and rose to the post of Assistant Chief Administrative Officer seeking transfer of service into the mainstream of the civil service in year 2000.
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