Quack doctors risk 10 year jail
A bill seeking to increase the penalties for quack doctors operating in the country has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill, sponsored by Dozie Ferdinand Nwankwo, seeks to amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, 2004 to increase the fine for medical quackery from N5000 to N1 million and N10, 000 to N10m respectively, as well as a jail term of either five or 10 years, depending on the severity of the offence committed.
Leading debate on the bill, Nwankwo said going by reported cases of medical quackery in Nigeria, it became necessary to come up with stiffer penalties to serve as deterrence.
He said Section 17 (5) (a) and (b) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, which provides penalties of fines of between N5,000 and N10,000 for offenders should be amended to reflect the new penalties in conformity with current realities.
He said “No punishment can be severe enough to punish quackery in the medical and dental profession. While it is often said that lawyers mistakes end up in prison, doctors’ mistake end up in the graveyard.”
Speaker Yakubu Dogara referred the bill to the committee on healthcare services for further legislative action.