‘Doctors’ Seal will eliminate quackery, malpractice’

NMA President, Prof. Mike Ogirima

*Identify practitioners by universities, year of graduation, license number

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has provided more explanation why it introduced a Seal/Stamp for all approved doctors, hospitals and medical reports.NMA President Mike O. Ogirima, and Secretary General, Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, said the Seal would ultimately help eliminate quacks and various forms of malpractice from the medical profession.

They said some of the interesting features of the Seal/Stamp were its ability to identify practitioners by their universities and year of graduation in addition to their practice license number.Ogirima and Tanko in a media release said: “Revisiting the issue of NMA seal is important because the medical profession in this country has to heal itself if the government is not interested. There is no policy that is perfect in the world but I have learnt in life that the easiest thing to do is to find fault. I have equally learnt not to criticize except I have an alternate plan on that particular issue.

“The issue of a seal is quite timely and after a lot of deliberation and tinkering with Stamp versus seal and modifications this was settled for. It was not a taken from the beer parlour joint under the influence of something; it took men’s brain and time.“The seal/stamp becomes important if we saw the Medical Reports that made its way to National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Orientation camps last year, Some coming from ‘first generation teaching hospitals’, with young ladies afflicted with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and signed by a ‘doctor’. Some were the same letter with different patients name circulating in more than one state.

“If we maintain the above were the handiworks of quacks. We still have to accept that it was done in our name. How about the common scenario where it is common to see patients or friends calling a doctor to request for a medical report because he has been advised to get one by his office even if it means forging it, so the general public know that reports can be cooked by even compromising genuine doctors.”

Tanko stated that already, the NMA under the leadership of has not only perfected the stamp but has communicated to all major stakeholders in healthcare delivery, security outfits, NYSC and judiciary among other to uphold the seal in all medical correspondences.

A member of NMA, Dr. Ike Okwesili, in a report, said it is time the public sees the genuine doctor as the man with the seal as the lawyers are seen. Ike explained: “Those of us who indulge in unnecessary oversea referral that cause undue medical tourism should put their seal to it. It should no longer be business of directing a junior colleague to do the unnecessary referral for the boss. I have been approached by a doctor for a referral to India for a businesses man who had De Quervain tenosynovitis insisting he will pay, I had to tell him that it is like referring a patient requiring an incision and drainage for abscess abroad, the truth was, the man wanted to go on vacation with the wife and needed a smoother visa and a doctor who will be willing to ‘cooperate’. I had to let him tell the man that he won’t get the report from me for N5 million.

“I hope that sent the message I wanted, that every man doesn’t have a price in medical practice. A consultant physician told me recently that he has a patient that needed my referral to US for back pain surgery. This is a patient who should present to me and I will review and tell him what he needed. The scenario is endless and the public knows that these reports can be cooked on request yet we expect a better deal from them.”

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