Quoting extracts from the Act, he said: “The Nursing and Midwifery (Registration etc) Act (hereinafter in the decree referred to as ‘the principal Act’) is hereby amended as set out in this Decree. – Amendment of Cap 332 LFN
Dr. Joseph Olawale, the National President of the Association of General Private Nursing Practitioners, on Friday said nurses have the legal rights to run private clinics and maternity homes.
Olawale disclosed this at the closing ceremony of a Three-Day Professional Development Workshop for private nursing practitioners in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The workshop was organised by the Oyo State Chapter of the association.
The theme of the workshop was: “Promoting Private Practice in Nursing Profession in Nigeria.”
Olawale said there was adequate legislation backing the establishment and running of private clinics by nurses.
Quoting extracts from the Act, he said: “The Nursing and Midwifery (Registration etc) Act (hereinafter in the decree referred to as ‘the principal Act’) is hereby amended as set out in this Decree. – Amendment of Cap 332 LFN.
“Deleting the existing Section of 23 of the Principal Act and substitute therefore, the following new section as follows, that is, Nursing and Midwifery duties.
“23- (1) A nurse or midwife registered under this Act shall be entitled to carry out nursing or midwifery care, as provided for in the training curriculum prescribed and approved by the Council.”
Olawale said other conditions included that the nurse must be a qualified registered nurse and must have spent at least five years in a recognised health establishment as a Registered Nurse.
Other conditions of the council, according to him, were that the nurse must have unhindered access to a practicing obstetrician and gynaecologist or an experienced medical practitioner.
Bola Fagbadegun, the AGPNP Chairperson in Oyo State, said the issue of who is a qualified nurse was the greatest challenge being faced by the association.
Fagbadegun said: “A true trained nurse cannot be easily identified because any person can put on the nurses white dress and parade herself in the market as a nurse and innocent persons will patronise her.
“The Nursing and Midwifery Committee of Oyo State have mandate to monitor and inspect health establishments.”
Fagbadegun said there was hope for the association of private nursing practitioners to overcome the problem of quacks in the state.
She said the issue of quacks had been a nagging challenge to the association, adding that every Traditional Birth Attendant and auxiliary nurse wants to run a clinic.
She said: “They have really bastardised the good image of a true trained nurse and we hereby call on all regulating bodies and government to help in finding a long lasting solution to the issue of quacks nurses running private clinics.”
Also, a lawyer, Temitayo Oladele, said most of the nurses in Nigeria were ignorant of the law on the issue of running their own private clinics.
Oladele said: “The nurses are ignorant of their legal backing when they decide to establish and run private clinics and maternity homes.
“Seventy per cent of nurses and midwives don’t know that they have the right to start their own clinic as stipulated by law.
“Intimidation by law enforcement agents is another issue that the nurses need to get enlightened upon, adding: “No policeman would visit a clinic if they did not have a tip-off of something criminal happening there.”
The communiqué issued at the workshop recommended for a review of the law regulating the establishment of private health facilities by nurses.
The communiqué also recommended that nurses should be encouraged to penetrate rural areas in order to extend healthcare delivery to rural dwellers.“This will enhance the reduction in maternal and child mortality and morbidity rate in Oyo State and Nigeria in general,” it stated.