Quack doc­tors risk 10 year jail

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Musa Ab­dul­lahi Kr­ishi

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.

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