Daily Trust

249 for­eign-trained doc­tors get li­cence, 443 others in­el­i­gi­ble

- By Judd-Leonard Okafor Health · Nigeria News · Medicine · Society · Dental Diseases · Health Conditions · Nigeria · Abuja · Nigerian Medical Association

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.

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