The outgoing Registrar/Chief Executive of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Dr. Abdulmumini Ibrahim, has recalled how a doctor forgot towel in the abdomen of a patient and was sentenced by the Medical and Dental Tribunal to six-month suspension for negligence.
Ibrahim also revealed how he was once abducted by a suspended former Registrar/CEO of the MDCN, but was saved by staff and management of Ikoyi Prisons in Lagos.
He made these revelations in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH shortly after handing over to his successor, Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi, in his office in Abuja.
Apart from funding, Ibrahim said the menace of fake and unlicensed medical practitioners remains one of the daunting challenges of the MDCN.
He said, “I can vividly recall certain cases we had in Lagos while I was acting Registrar of MDCN and even here in Abuja.
“There was a particular case in which a doctor forgot a towel in the abdomen of a patient and, unfortunately, this case had to be proved and we had to invite expert witnesses to appear before the panel.
“At the end of the day, the doctor was sanctioned and sentenced to six-month off duty. His license was withdrawn for six months. This was one of the celebrity cases I can recall.
“The Act setting up the council is very clear about procedures for disciplining a doctor. First, there must be complaint, which we receive on a daily basis. That complaint will be investigated; but before that, you confront the doctor with the complaint, for him to be aware. Then, the complaint is subject to investigation by the investigation panel, where fair hearing is given.
“Both the doctor and complainant face the panel. In the course of the investigation, if a prima facie case is established against the doctor, s/he appears before the disciplinary tribunal which, like any other court of law, has the same status of the High Court, conducts its proceedings in public because we invite journalists and it is also open to any interested Nigerian to come and watch the proceedings.
“At the end of deliberations and arguments between the prosecution and the defence, if the doctor is found wanting, he will be sanctioned according to the law. Those celebrity cases are still pending in the tribunal.”
Ibrahim also shed light on how he was abducted by a suspended former Registrar/CEO of the MDCN.
He said, “I can vividly recall that while I was acting in Lagos, a former acting Registrar who had a rough time with the MDCN was sent on suspension and the mantle of leadership fell on me. He went to court and claimed that he got a court injunction which returned him to office.
“In the course of doing that, he felt that the law enforcement agencies were not helping him to enforce the judgment. I was attacked and abducted in my own house in Lagos by the then Registrar and his cronies.
“I was to be taken to Ikoyi Prisons that time in 2004/2005. But the management of Ikoyi Prisons protested, saying they did not get any warrant for me to be detained there.
“The whole office rose against it and it was not easy for him. If not for some people like my driver who contacted my office, only God knows what would have happened that time.”
Ibrahim called on government and stakeholders to continue funding the MDCN for it to be able to continue competing with international regulatory agencies.
“The main challenge in MDCN is funding. The funding is not coming as we thought. When you are talking of funding, we expect funding from the government and from our stakeholders. Like any other organisation, government funding can never be enough,” he stated.
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