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Cancer Care: NAMP Tasks Pres. Tinubu, legislators On Medical Physics Bill

The Nigerian Association of Medical Physicists (NAMP) has called on President Bola Tinubu and legislators in the upper and lower Chambers to support the passage of the Medical Physics Regulatory Council (Establishment) Bill, 2022.

This was disclosed by Prof. Fatai Balogun, President of NAMP on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, in Calabar during the; association’s 2023 Annual, Scientific Conference and Workshop.

The theme of the five-day conference which runs from Monday, Nov. 6 to Friday, Nov. 10 is “Medical Physics: Creating Innovation for Safe Radiation Medicine Practice.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Medical Physicists are healthcare professionals with specialised training in the medical applications of physics to solve health challenges.

Balogun said the bill was set to produce a college of medical physicists and a regulatory body to check the activities of academic and clinical, medical physicists.

According to him, if the bill is passed, it will enable the nation to train those who want to go directly to clinical studies while encouraging people to take the field of Medical Physics as a viable option.

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“Medical Physicists are so important in healthcare provision, in fact, without them, you cannot set up an oncology centre because without medical physicists there would be no oncologists.

“Currently, our members are just over 100 with very few of them certified because Nigeria does not have a regulatory body necessary for certification,” he said.

Similarly, Ms Olusola Osunsami, Chairperson of NAMP Clinical Training and Certification Board said in order for Medical Physicists to be recognised as a healthcare profession, they needed legislative backing.

She emphasised that Medical Physicists play vital roles in the way patients are treated because they ensure science and technology are used for effective and safe medical practice.

On her part, Dr Nwamaka Lasebikan, President Association of Radiation and Clinical Oncologists (ARCON) commended NAMP for its 2023 conference.

Represented by Dr Ololade Kehinde, Secretary General of ARCON, she called for investments by government, individuals and financial institutions while appealing for a reduction of bottlenecks that hinder the establishment of cancer centres.

According to her, while such a move will improve healthcare provision in the nation and curb brain drain, it will also reduce capital flight which is witnessed whenever Nigerians travel abroad for their healthcare needs.

Dr Samuel Otene, Chairman Nigerian Medical Association, (NMA), National Cancer Committee, said the relationship between Clinical Oncologists and Medical Physicists was so strong that they could not do without each other.

Otene said while an oncologist could say give the patient this dose of radiation, they needed a Medical Physicist to give them every idea of how safe the amount of radiation was to the body of the patient.

He said while cancer care was a multi-disciplinary endeavour, its challenge remained its high cost of treatment all over the world.

“If we can find a way to incorporate cancer care into the health insurance scheme for people to access care in our hospitals, it will go a long way in reducing the rate of cancer mortality in Nigeria

“We need to sensitise and support Nigerians who are cancer patients to reduce the mortality in this part of the world.

NAN also reports that the Medical Physics Regulatory Council (Establishment) Bill, 2022 was formerly the Medical Physics College and Medical Physics Regulatory Council of Nigeria, Bill 2017.

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