The Nigeria Medical Association said it was having challenges in the fight against quacks in the profession, saying most of the suspects caught in the act were let loose after shoddy police investigation to continue their killing spree.
President of NMA, Dr Adedayo Faduyile, said there were medical institutions in Lagos manned by unqualified medical professionals, warning of the danger that the trend portends on the profession and health on Nigerians.
In an exclusive interaction with our correspondent, Faduyile said the rise of charlatans in the profession had been on the rise, stressing that the judiciary and the police had a huge role to play in helping the Medical and Dental Council Association of Nigeria fight the scourge.
He said, “In Lagos, we have some medical institutions that are not manned by medically qualified people and we are looking into it. We have different types of quackery in the medical profession. Those in the first one are those who are medically qualified but not registered to practice in a particular year. They are regarded as quacks because every year, we need to renew our registration.
“The second set of quackery belongs to those who are medically qualified but without the special training to take some medical activities. If they delve into such area that they are not trained in, it is another form of quackery. Then we have those who are not qualified at all as medical personnel but act as doctors. They could be health workers or charlatans who do not have any relationship with the medical profession.”
He said MDCA was shouldered with the responsibility of dealing with those caught in the act but the effort was often truncated by a poor investigation by the relevant authority, citing corruption as one of the reasons for such shoddy investigation.
“For those who have not registered that practice, the Medical and Dental Council Association of Nigeria is saddled to discipline, such people. The second group of people who delve into areas that they are not competent to, MDCAN is also saddled with the role of dealing with them.
“The usual way of going about is reporting to MDCAN and an investigative panel is set up. If the person caught has a case to answer, he will be handed over to a tribunal which is at the level of high court with a judgment given. If there is a criminal case involved and the person is culpable, he will be sent to a normal court based on the criminality of his conduct.
“For the charlatan group, those who are caught are reported to the police because they are criminals. The police will be encouraged to prosecute them in the law court. But this is where we have a major problem.
“At many times, the investigation by respective Investigating Police Officer may be shoddy or probably out of corruption, we don’t always have good conviction. Once we don’t have that, the criminals are released and they go back to their practice of killing more Nigerians. We seek the support of the police and judiciary in getting rid of quacks in this country. This is one of the things we are presently pursuing.”