From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
No fewer than 31 health professionals comprising of medical doctors and dentists would appear before the Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (MDPDT) starting on Monday, for alleged professional misconduct.
The trial is a routine exercise by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for doctors who have been reported by unsatisfied patients to had erred and violated professional ethics or code.
The trial which will run till Thursday, will provide opportunities for the accused doctors to defend themselves either in person or be represented by a legal counsel.
Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) had advised patients who are unsatisfied with the professional conduct of the medical doctors to always approach MDCN using various communication channels to report such cases to the Council and expect justice.
Meanwhile a document obtained from the MDCN at the weekend indicated that out of the 31 doctors that would appear before the Prof. Abba Waziri led disciplinary tribunal, four doctors are expecting final judgement on their matter after the successful completion of their trials in previous sittings of the tribunal.
A senior staff of MDCN who pleaded anonymity also confirmed that two doctors would submit their written addresses for possible adoption of by the tribunal, while the remaining 25 doctors would be appearing before the tribunal for first time arraignment.
The staff hinted that some of the doctors may be convicted of their offenses because of indisputable fact about their cases, and they may risk the withdrawal of their practicing licenses.
MDCN disciplinary book recommended several punishment for erring doctors including outright withdrawal of practicing licence of any doctor convicted of gross negligence or other forms of professional misconduct.
In September 2019, the disciplinary committee of MDCN ordered immediate withdrawal of the practicing licence of Adamawa based medical doctor, Dr. Yakubu Hassan Koji, after he was convicted of “gross” professional misconduct by the tribunal.
Dr. Koji was said to had ignored some professional rules when he engaged in a surgery that led to the damage of a kidney of one Isa Hamma, now deceased.
He was said to had engaged in the surgery without prior information to the patient of the nature of the operation and risks involved.
Tribunal chairman, Prof Abba Hassan, who presided over the sitting, said the respondent violated sections 29.4d, 29.4a, 29.4g, 29.4h, 29.4i, 31, 33, 33.1, 33.0 and 43.3 of medical ethics code in Nigeria.
Prof. Abba said the tribunal had no difficulty in resolving the issue against the respondent and in favour of the prosecutor who successfully proved all the 12 count charge against the respondent.
The tribunal chairman explained: “The respondent exhibited incompetence in the assessment of late Isa Hamma. He also failed to correctly diagnose the illness of the patient before commencing treatment.
“In addition to that, he also failed to obtain the consent of the patient before undertaking the surgical operation which later led to kidney loss.
“The convict also failed to disclose medical details and history of the patient to Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe, when he referred the patient to the hospital after several delay.”
The tribunal chairman, thus directed that the name of the convict be immediately struck out of the MDCN register and his practicing licence withdrawn.