249 foreign-trained doctors get licence, 443 others ineligible
The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) has inducted 249 doctors and dentists, who trained abroad to practice in Nigeria.
Another set of 443 failed the council’s assessment examination, making them ineligible to practise in the country.
A total 243 doctors and six dentists took the Hippocratic Oath in Abuja, and swore for the first time a pledge the World Medical Association revised to include a final clause to “Attend to my health, well being and abilities in order to provide care”.
The induction marks a turning point for the council, which has been embroiled in controversy after the 443 foreign-trained medical graduates, who failed exams after sitting through months of remedial course accused it of bias.
MDCN registrar Tajudeen Sanusi said the council “Was and is still faced with the challenges of having to explain and defend the poor performance of some of the candidates that were unsuccessful at the examination.
“The major concern of the MDCN is the overall health and wellbeing of Nigerians and other people living in Nigeria,” Sanusi said.
“As such if quality control is ignored at the point of admitting practitioners into the profession, it then means that we could be toying with the lives of people, and everyone here knows that once a mistake is made either during diagnosis or management of a patient, the cost may be unimaginable.”
The failed students could repeat the exam when it comes up next in April, but the Nigerian Medical Association, which called the student’s action “un-medical” and “misconduct” is against it.
The inducted doctors add to around 50,000 doctors practising in Nigeria, but the country’s doctor-to-patient ratio falls far below the 1:600 recommended by the World Health organization.
“We lack what we produce, and we export them to needy countries,” said NMA president Mike Ogirima, citing continuous exit of Nigeria-trained doctors to work in health sectors abroad.