Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Three illegal health facilities being operated by quack doctors have been shut down by the Benue State Government.
Director of Medical Services, Benue State Ministry of Health, Dr Ijir Francis, disclosed this on Wednesday at a town hall meeting organized by the National Executive Committee of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) held in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Ijir said the affected illegal health facilities were located in Aliade, Gwer Local Government Area, Adi Etulo in Buruku LGA and Oweto in Agatu LGA of the state respectively.
He vowed that the state government would not relent to go after health facilities operators who are operating without medical licenses, as well as those who failed to renew their expired medical licenses as stipulated by law.
Speaking on the theme of discourse entitled, “Winning the war on medical quacks: the way forward,” the director who also spoke on behalf of the state’s Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) regretted that lack of proper law was mitigating against the state’s effort in fighting medical quackery in the state.
He appealed to relevant authorities to enact laws that would enforce the sealing of illegal health facilities.
“We find it difficult to clampdown on illegal health facilities operators and permanently seal off such facilities because of absence of a defined law to seal such property.
“We don’t have the enabling law to seal the places we closed down and that’s a major challenge. There is no clear defined law that empower the state to actually seal off illegal health facilities in the state. We’re not mandated to do so.
“There should be a law to mandate us to seal a facility that is operating illegally. Therefore, we are advocating for enabling law that would help the state have legal backing to regulate and acquire seal to close down health facilities operators operating illegally in the state. Most of these health facilities are not registered and not licensed to operate,” Francis added.
In a remark, national president of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Professor Francis Adebayo Faduyile, called for synergy between NMA and other relevant stakeholders to address problem of quackery among medical practitioners in the country.
Faduyile expressed worry over the dilapidated nature of some hospitals specially general hospital Gbajimba in Guma local government area of the state, stressing that what he saw during his visit to the hospital on Tuesday was an eye sore.
He commended the state government for what he described as its good intentions towards meeting the health needs of the people of the state, especially in ensuring that the state medical school is given adequate attention.