Don’t interfere with training, certification of doctors, NMA tells Senate

A Hospital ward with health workers used to illustrate the story
A Hospital ward with health workers used to illustrate the story

The National Medical Association, NMA, has urged the senate to allow the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, handle issues of medical education and training, as it is the statutory body created by law for it.

The senate committee on health on Tuesday began an investigative hearing regarding allegations levelled against the acting registrar of MDCN, Tajudeen Sanusi.

The allegations against Mr. Sanusi ranged from extortion to allegedly failing about 437 foreign medical students who sat for the MDCN examination recently, at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, UITH.

However, the association said it sees the action of the senate as an undue interference.

Speaking at a media conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the first Vice President of the association, Kingsley Enweremedu, stated why it is holding this view.

“Following the release of the result of foreign medical students, both parents and candidates in addition to several media statements sent petitions to the Senate and House of Representatives.

“NMA is saddened and worried at this development. This is because the association believes that the issue of medical education and training ought to be handled by the statutory body created by law for it.

“Without prejudice to the inalienable rights of Nigerians who feel mistreated to seek redress at relevant quarters, NMA is constrained to speak out and warn that should passing medical examinations now be subject to legislative scrunity thus eroding the powers of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, perhaps a time can come when it could be gotten through court judgements”, he said.

While noting that Nigeria’s case is not different from other African countries, he said that Ghana with the pass rate of 15 per cent had gone ahead to institute a one year remedial training programme before subjecting them (students) to the licentiate exams.

He stated that NMA observed with dismay the poor quality of some of the foreign-trained medical practitioners, and was worried about the quality of services they render.

He noted that such quality may contribute to high mortality in the health system, hence the need for proper evaluation before registering such to practice in Nigeria.

He expressed his disappointment over the failure of the students, which he attributed to the quality of teaching and learning received in some of the foreign institutions.

In his remarks, the President, National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, Ugochukwu Chinaka, said that the association was in support of NMA’s stance and urged the senate, ”to the right thing.”

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