By Felicia Imohimi
Abuja – The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Wednesday said the poor quality of some foreign trained medical practitioners could be responsible for high mortality in the nation’s health sector.
The President of the association, Mike Ogirima, disclosed this at a news conference on the mass failure of some foreign medical graduates at the assessment examination conducted by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) in October.
Ogirima, who was represented by Dr Kingsley Enweremadu, the First Vice President of the association, expressed displeasure about the poor quality of services some of the foreign trained medical practitioners render.
He said 35 per cent of the 680 foreign doctors failed the assessment examination that would have qualified them to be registered as medical and dental practitioners fit and proper to work in the country.
He added that “the pass rate was 35 per cent. This sparked a wave of near violent protest from candidates and their parents, in addition to several media statements and petitions to the Senate and House of Representatives.”
He attributed part of the reasons for the poor performance to the quality of teaching and learning in some foreign institutions where some Nigerian citizens schooled.
He said “we are worried about the quality of services some of these foreign trained medical practitioners render, hence, the need for proper evaluation before registering them to practice here.
“In many of these countries, medical graduates are produced only for export as they are not registered there.
“We wonder why this would be so, why a cook would refuse to taste the food she or he
cooked for others to eat.
“It is true there is acute shortage of human resources in the country’s health sector, with poor doctor/patient ratio.
“However, NMA feels that sacrificing quality for number is suicidal and all of us stand to be victims in the hands of these poorly trained medical personnel.”
Ogirima, however, expressed the commitment of the association to collaborate with MDCN to sanitise and improve the quality of medical and dental practice in the country.
He called for immediate reconstitution of the MDCN, to enable it to function effectively, describing it as the only sure way to guarantee quality healthcare delivery in the country.
“We will resist any attempt from any quarter to dilute standard of medical education, training and practice in our country,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that news conference was jointly organised by NMA, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) and the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD). (NAN)