Over 120 cases of allegations of professional negligence against medical practitioners operating in Nigeria are currently being investigated by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
The cases, it was further learnt, were apart from the 70 other cases that had been concluded and sent to the council’s tribunal, Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, for prosecution.
The MDCN is saddled with the responsibility of regulating the practice of medicine, dentistry and alternative medicine in the most efficient manner that safeguards best healthcare delivery for Nigerians.
The council’s Registrar, Dr Tajudeen Sanusi, confirmed the probe and the trial of the doctors at the weekend, amid increasing outcry about negligence on the part of some medical practitioners, leading to the deaths of their patients.
During the week, there was a public outcry over the death of a chef, Mrs Peju Ugboma, whose death was said to have been due to negligence by a medical practitioner at the Premier Specialists’ Medical Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos State.
Peju was said to have died after undergoing a botched surgery for fibroid related ailment at the hospital.
The deceased was said to have suffered internal bleeding after the surgery which made her condition deteriorate and she was later admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital where she was placed on a respirator.
According to the report, the deceased’s family accused the hospital of sedating her intravenously while also adding that the management of the hospital moved her to another hospital in Lekki, Evercare Hospital, for CT scan and dialysis but it was discovered that she did not have a pulse and emergency CPR was performed before she was pronounced dead.
When approached on the council’s investigations as far as medical practitioners were concerned, Sanusi said the council was doing all it could to make sure that practitioners who had petitions written against them were thoroughly investigated and those found guilty were disciplined appropriately.
In investigating the petitions against practitioners, he said the council usually moved around the country and ensured investigations were carried out close to the scenes of the incidents.
This, he explained, was necessary to ensure that the investigations were thorough and detailed.
He disclosed that the council’s tribunal would be meeting next month to decide on some of the pending cases.
Sanusi said, “We are currently investigating over 120 cases while 70 are already facing a tribunal.
“As you are aware, the tribunal is our judicial arm. The tribunal met two months ago and it is going to meet next month.
“Those who are found guilty will be disciplined appropriately.
“For investigations, we move round the country, we make sure that we take the investigations as close as possible to the scenes of the incidents so that we don’t miss out on any detail.”
In an interview, a Nigerian doctor based in Russia, Dr Ruth Keyomoah, frowned at negligence on the part of medical workers.
He argued that the ugly situation might continue until when those found wanting in that regard began to lose their licences.
“One of the things we need to realise is that until medical doctors in Nigeria start to lose their licences, we will continue to experience medical negligence,” Keyomoah added.