The Nigerian Senate, on Tuesday, debated ‘the proliferation of fake medical reports emanating from public hospitals in Nigeria.’
It directed the Federal Ministry of Health to set up an efficient and proper mechanism to identify and prevent ‘the dangerous trend’ in public hospitals.
This motion was sponsored by Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central).
Ms Ekwunife expressed worry that commercialisation of medical reports poses danger to the medical health and safety of Nigerians and could result in fatal misdiagnosis of patients or anyone else who relies on the contents of such medical reports.
She said the integrity of the medical report is being compromised and eroded by the realisation that it may not contain the true and accurate medical details of the person named in the report.
The lawmaker noted that the Code of Ethics of the medical profession abhors the illegal issuance of medical certificates and records to patients without conducting all the relevant tests. She, however, lamented the lack of implementation of the regulations.
The Senate urged the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to intensify its effort in checking incidences of fraud and quackery in the medical profession, especially in public hospitals.
A medical report contains an individual’s personal medical records and details which are used to ascertain a person’s medical condition, obtain health benefits, certify one’s mental state, investigate addictions, diagnose treatments, and most importantly, ascertain and form medical opinions.
Medical certificates are also used to certify that someone is free of contagious diseases, drug addiction, mental illness, or other health complications.
PREMIUM TIMES had in June, reported how corrupt official issue fake medical reports in some public hospitals.
The NMA, considered the largest medical association in the West African sub-region with over 40,000 members, has laid down ethical guidelines on how to check medical malpractices.
But while these provisions are there, the absence of effective implementation of regulations has created a booming market for corrupt officials in hospitals and laboratories across Nigeria. These officials, in collaboration with corrupt medical practitioners, issue certificates to people indiscriminately once the right amount of money exchange hands.