Physicians Of Natural, Alternative Medicine Tackle NMA On TCAM Bill

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Osagie-Ehanire

The leadership of the Nigerian Association of Physicians of Natural Medicine (NAPNM), has taken a swipe at the members of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), over their stand against the proposed Bill establishing Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) Council in Nigeria.

It would be recalled that the NMA in a communique issued at the end of its August National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Sunday in Gombe, chided the Federal Government for sponsoring the Bill on the Establishment of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Regulatory Board in the country.

The communique which was signed by the NMA President, Dr. Uche Ojinmah and the Secretary-General Dr. Jide Onyekwelu, alleged that the components of the Bill would be in conflict with the statutory functions of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).

But, the NAPNM, in a statement after its emergency meeting held at the weekend, and attended by all the executive members, warned NMA from interfering and threatening to stop the passing of the Bill.

The statement which was signed by Dr. Johnson Elechi and Dr. Usman Ahmad, President and Secretary of NAPNM, respectively, noted that the MDCN 1992 law recognized five major forms of alternative medicine, namely, Homeopathy, Osteopathy, Acupuncture, Naturopathy and Chiropractic.

It added: “There are over 25 forms of Complementary/Alternative Medicines been practiced in Nigeria; and so the need to have all these therapies and healing modalities together in a separate Council, as initiated and being currently championed by the Federal Ministry of Health, with the full support and endorsement of stakeholder’s of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Nigeria.

“Since the MDCN law of 1992 was put into effect, only very few Alternative Medicine Doctors have been registered by MDCN, and that Alternative Medicine is a standardized medical practice outside the scope of conventional orthodox medicine.”

Dr. Elechi who noted that there is no part of the world where Alternative Medicine is regulated by the same body that supervises conventional medicine, wondered why “such anomaly would be accepted and tolerated in Nigeria.”

He therefore appealed to members of the NMA to reflect on and reconsider their position and to give way for the Bill to be passed into law.

He however assured the leadership of the NMA of closer collaboration in dealing with the health challenges facing myriads of Nigerians, even as he beckoned on all angered practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine to remain calm and continue to abide by the standard code of practice.

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