The Transparency Advocacy Initiative for Development has commended the leadership of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for refusing to bow to pressures mounted on it to reduce the premium it places on Nigerian lives.
In a press release by the National Coordinator Transparency Advocacy Initiative for Development, Yomi David, he said that politics has no place whatsoever in assessing professional competence and the regulator so saddled with the powers must be allowed to exercise such powers in a rancor free environment.
Below is the full text of the press release
Being a Press text issued by Transparency Advocacy Initiative for Development on the 21st December, 2017, our independent assessment on the just concluded examination that qualify foreign trained doctors to be licensed to practice in Nigeria which took place at Treasure Suit Hotels Abuja.
LET THE REGULATOR BE
As the popular saying goes “health is wealth”, and availability and affordability of healthcare services remains One of the key measures of development, as no nation can develop beyond the capacity to provide qualitative health services to it’s citizens.
Nigeria is no exception as evidenced by the global healthcare index of the WHO, which ranked nations based on personal access and quality of healthcare from 1990-2015, placed Nigeria 140th out of 195 countries assessed.
While the government of the day continues to work assiduously to improve access to healthcare services, we must never compromise on the quality of services we offer our people as the earlier cited WHO report pointed out that routine treatable and preventable diseases still kill Nigerians daily.
While we need to address the access side of this problem, by reducing the doctor/patient ratio which currently stands at about 1:6000 about ten times the WHO recommended ratio of 1:600, we must not compromise on quality of personnel we recruit into the profession, hence the need for a very strong regulator.
We were troubled by recent media reports in which certain disgruntled elements attempted to question the integrity of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), a body established by law to test band license competent practitioners into the medical profession.
For purposes of clarity, the position of a regulator in any system that serves the public is sacrosanct and it is unbecoming when supposed beneficiaries begin to cast aspersions on the impartiality of the regulator.
For the records section 3 of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act Cap M8 (2004) states that: the council may institute an assessment examination for holders of foreign medical or dental qualifications recognized by the government of the countries where such qualifications were obtained.
It is also on record that the MDCN, did not directly administer the examination in question, as it was done by the University of Ilorin under close supervision by external examiner, while the duly signed results presented to the MDCN were published. followed three months’ training at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.
A total of 680 doctors sat for the exams but only 240 or about 35 per cent passed while 440 of them or 65 per cent failed this examination, which tested their understanding of the basics of medical practice cannot be the fault of the MDCN which neither trained nor directly tested these candidates.
Nigerians must discontinue the culture of influence peddling if we must progress as a nation, laid down rules must be followed by all Nigerians regardless of tribe, religion or status if this country must work.
It is unacceptable that candidates who couldn’t pass a routine examination would resort to casting aspersions on the examiner, rather than trying again with better preparations when the next examination cycle comes around.
Transparency and Accountability Initiative for Development, having independently examined the facts, is convinced that the MDCN acted in the best interest of the Nigerian people and within the ambits of the laws of the land.
We salute the leadership of the council for refusing to bow to pressures mounted on it to reduce the premium it places on Nigerian lives.
It is an indisputable fact that countless Nigerian trained medical professionals leave the shores of this country annually and they Excel abroad, so for anyone to suggest that foreign trained doctors are somehow qualified by virtue of their being trained outside Nigeria is being disingenuous and must be resisted by all well meaning Nigerians.
We urge the Honourable Minister of Health to continue to stand firmly behind the council, in furtherance of the anticorruption agenda and posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari.
We implore those characters peddling rumours that have no basis in law or morality against the MDCN to desist from further cheapening the value of Nigerian lives.
Politics has no place whatsoever in assessing professional competence and the regulator so saddled with the powers must be allowed to exercise such powers in a rancor free environment.
The Leadership of Transparency Advocacy Initiative for Development Passes Vote of Confidence on the Outstanding leadership of MDCN in person of
Dr. T.A.B. Sanusi for his courage in reposition MDCN.
Signed Yomi David National Coordinator Transparency Advocacy Initiative for Development