In the letter signed by its State Chairman, Comrade Ada Gaius, the group said that it collaborated with stakeholders to express concern over the “deplorable and shameful unethical and poor professional practices” taking place in both public and private health sectors in the state particularly in the medical records department.
The group alleged that unethical, untrained and unlicensed practitioners manage patient's health records and carry out sensitive “statutory functions” of health records profession saying that it poses risk to state government, patients, health facilities and society at large.
The group said unqualified practitioners were employed in both the public and private health service including community-based organizations and health partners.
The chairman of the group said this contradicts Health Records Regulatory Board Laws, professionalism and recommendations of the Institute of Medicine among other health agencies.
Gaius said untrained and unlicensed practitioners cannot collate, analyze and interpret patient's health data and transmit to approved platform saying it could only cripple efforts of the state government, state ministry of health and parastatals in planning, budgeting, research, informed decision making and implementation.
He said the use of untrained and unlicensed practitioners in place of trained and certified health records and information management professionals go against law setting up Health Records and Information Management profession, Decree 39 of 1989.
The head of the association said that Rivers State was only state not implementing laws regarding health records profession and alleged the state was not using trained health records practitioners over years in the State College of Health Science and Management Technology.
The group in the letter said: “The Association is also appealing to His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike, to intervene to the ninety eight (98) per cent high-level quackery and mockery to health records profession in the health sector of Rivers State, where untrained and unlicensed practitioners (quacks) (are) working and performing statutory functions of Health Records and Information Management profession, engaged by public and private healthcare service providers and owners including community-based organization(s) and health partners, recognized and approved by Ministry of Health on a daily basis against the Rivers State Government trained and licensed health records practitioners”.
Meanwhile, the group appealed to the governor and Rivers State University to introduce Bachelor and postgraduate degrees of science in Health Information Management which will lead to award of BSc HIM or MSc HIM, saying it will help people reach apex of the profession.
Efforts to get reaction from ministry of health were unsuccessful.