House Passes Bill Seeking Stiffer Punishment for Exam Malpractices for Second Reading

The House of Representatives at the plenary, yesterday passed for second reading a Bill seeking to repeal the Examination Malpractices Act of 2004 to expand offences relating to punishment for exam malpractices.

The proposed legislation titled, “a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Examination Malpractices Act, Cap. E15, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Examination Malpractices Bill to Expand Offences Relating to Examination Malpractices and Prescribe Adequate Punishment; and for Related Matters,” was sponsored by Hon. Olarewaju Ibrahim Kunle.

Also, the lawmakers passed for second reading a Bill seeking an amendment to the University Teaching Hospitals Boards Reconstitution Act of 2004 to restructure the composition of the governing Boards of tertiary health institutions, to include nurses, pharmacists and other health practitioners in headship of teaching hospitals.

Leading the debate on its general principles, the sponsor Hon. Bamidele Salam said the bill seeks to include all other health professionals in the capacity building and administration of the Federal Hospitals in Nigeria, to make them more vibrant and efficient.

According to him, the bill seeks to review the terminology of the heads of the hospitals; redefine the qualification of the Head of hospitals; provide a definite tenure of office of the heads of the hospitals; include students of Health Sciences in the training programmes of the hospitals and have hospitals established post-enactment of the extant legal framework in the schedule.

He said the bill, when it becomes law, will also considerably reduce inter-disciplinary rivalry within the teaching hospitals by ensuring that all critical stakeholders are involved in the composition of the Boards.

Salam said: “It could be recalled that, currently, the terminology used in referring to the Head of tertiary health institutions in Nigeria is called “Chief Medical Director”. He is accountable to the Board of the institution. The Chief Medical Director is responsible for the execution of policies and matters affecting the day to day management of the affairs of the Hospital. Before one can be qualified to be appointed as CMD, the person must be Medical / Dental Practitioners registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria of not less than ten (10) years post qualification.

In addition, the person must be a fellow (s) of either the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria or the West African Postgraduate Medical College or its equivalent registered by Nigeria’s Medical and Dental Council.

“Section 5 of the Principal Act, which provides for the appointment of the CMD, also provided the functions of the Office of the CMD, which includes: the execution of policies and matters affecting the day to day management of the affairs of the Hospital. A cursory study of these responsibilities reveals that the burden is purely administrative; it has nothing to do with a particular professional in the health profession.

In the United Kingdom, to become a hospital administrator, one don’t have to be a medical practitioner. All you need is to be a Graduate from high school (4 years); Obtain a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration, business administration, or a clinical discipline (4 years); and a master’s degree in healthcare administration (MHA) or a related graduate degree (2 years).

In the United States, there isn’t one specific path to follow to get a hospital administrator’s job. You may begin your career in some other role with that goal in mind (some start as Doctors or Nurses) and be promoted to the position.

He further said, “However, it’s common for hospital administrators to earn a relevant degree—and an increasing number of employers now require a master’s as well. Generally speaking, there are four basic steps to becoming a hospital administrator: Get a bachelor’s degree in health systems management and health services or related disciplines; Get a master’s degree in n hospital administration or healthcare administration; Gain experience and other certifications such as American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Accreditation or Certified Medical Manager (CMM) Accreditation etc.

It is clear from the above cross-country discussion that to be appointed as a Chief Executive Officer, one doesn’t have to be a medical doctor. Persons with bachelor’s in Management or Administration with requisite experience can be appointed to head a hospital. Similarly, in the composition of the Board of the Hospitals, other critical stakeholders were not included. Greater attention was only paid to medical doctors.”

Also at the plenary, the lawmakers introduced and passed for first reading an Executive Bill titled, ‘Civil Defence Corps, Correctional, Federal Fire and Immigration Services Board Bill, 2022’.

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