Only legislature can appoint Surgeon General —Health minister

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The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said the post of surgeon-general can only be created by the legislature at the federal level.

He said this in an interview, on the sidelines of the West African College of Surgeons secretariat foundation-laying ceremony in Lagos. He was asked to respond to one of 24 demands made by the Nigerian Medical Association, which embarked on a nationwide strike on July 1, 2014.

According to item seven on the association’s list of demands, a Surgeon-General of the Federation must be appointed with immediate effect.

But the minister said the position was for technical purposes and could only be appointed by the National Assembly.

He said, “The position of surgeon-general does not necessarily mean it will be for a surgeon. It’s going to be a technical position; someone who is not a political appointee can address technical issues about medicine in the health sector.

“So that one is something that I think the whole country will decide, either through constitutional amendment or the National Assembly making the appropriate law.”

The NMA’s demands were contained in an open letter addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.



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  1. I was appalled by some demands in this article…I think the NMA should reconsider the demand on special plate numbers for doctors as this will further put them in the spotlight for kidnap. ALSO…doctors shouldn’t assume the roles of Emergency Medical Responders or Paramedics. Instead, they should put up a program that will train and employ paramedics as it is done all over the world…it’s a plain hypocrisy for the NMA president to say that doctors will or should carry casualties in their cars and at the same time perform resuscitation. ..I wonder how many doctors will agree to turn their cars into ambulance… I’m sure non. Pls go back to the drawing board and remap your demands. Some of them are pretty ridiculous.

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