JUST IN: Rejoinder to a call for the repeal of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Act

The last five years have been tough for all Nigerians too, it is not limited to foreign-trained medical doctors. The basis for the call to repeal the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria Act is the most absurd act demonstrated by your submission or it is an illustration of the ignorance about one of the few institutions in the Nigerian state whose ethical standards have not been eroded by corruption.

I believe with my life you will not allow any of the foreign-trained medical graduate that failed MDCN assessment examination to attend to your enemy talk more of yourself when ill!….CONTINUE READING

The efforts of a section of the country at bridging the gap of medical manpower gap are laudable but should not be a rationale for admitting incompetence to fill our medical space and create more problems for society which are protected by this MDCN Act. It is normal to have a massive failure rate because most of the students that went outside Nigeria could not compete favourably on Nigerian soil to gain admission or the process at which some sections of the country selected those to be granted a scholarship to study medicine is flawed. Some of the countries where these foriegn medical-trained graduates were trained, are meant solely export use i.e back to their home country. That is to say, they will not be allowed to practice in the same country they trained, making Nigeria a dumping ground for poorly trained professionals! If not, why stay unemployed for many years if you are useful in the foreign country that trained you? How is it that you can pass with such brilliant marks yet fail the basic assessment examination conducted by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN)?

It is also the highest degree of hypocrisy for a foreign-trained graduate to complain about fees being hiked by over 80 per cent in the last couple of years. This is because an individual that paid to be trained in hundredths of thousands of dollars translating into millions of naira for enrolling in a foreign university, tuition and accommodation fees over four to seven years to pursue a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery is now home and complaining of peanuts paid as assessments fee in Nigeria.

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The writer asserts that the centralization of conducting the examination has no regard for logistics and security risks to the participants. This is the same problem for all Nigerians it also applies to MDCN representative/official who is exposed to similar risk without any immunity and logistics should not be a problem if we are honest with each other. If a student can fly from Nigeria to either Ukraine, Sudan, Cyprus, Egypt, The Caribbean, Russia, Belarus, India, Hungary, Guyana, Niger Republic, or Benin Republic to obtain a so-called medical degree being a common destination for their medical training flying within Nigeria should not be a course for concern.

The writer does not show his affiliation but challenging MDCN to court to produce examination results in the public domain may just be a replica of what happened recently in the case of JAMB and Mmesoma saga. This will bring more disgrace and disrepute to the candidates involved. I will suggest letting the sleeping dogs lie, to protect your candidates.

The medical training is a privileged course that is an agglomerate of about 11 (Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology, Medical Microbiology, Pharmacology, Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Pathology, Internal Medicine, Surgery and Community Medicine) independent courses merged into one. This is the reason a medical degree is the only degree that earns you a doctor on successful graduation. Furthermore, you have to remember all you need to practice medicine from the secondary school level! I remember being asked about the applicability of Boyle’s laws at my postgraduate level more than a decade after being taught! Medicine is the only profession you will be asked to proffer solutions to a patient’s problem at the very time the disease presents itself. No time to study, adjournment, re-adjourn, suspend or call for help you just act with the arsenals in your head and hands. I am not scaring prospective medical practitioners but it is challenging and a call to serve! Many are called but few are chosen, we don’t know the chosen ones!

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I will conclude by proffering the following advice to all institutions and persons as follows:

  1. The 10th assembly should suspend repealing the MDCN Act for the sake of unbundling it into the six geopolitical zones as proposed by the writer. This is a counter-productive move and can only breed chaos in the system.
  2. Federal and state governments and parents interested in bridging the medical manpower gap should use the many private universities in Nigeria rather than going to foreign countries this is my reasons:
  3. This will bring safety to our wards, a reminder of our citizens stranded in Ukraine, Sudan and Niger. We don’t know the next nation.
  4. It will strengthen our Naira since all most all international transactions are done in dollars.
  5. The stress and trauma of “writing MDCN assessment” exclusively will be off their neck because right from the admission process till graduation and practice are done under the close monitoring of MDCN, NUC and their respective Universities.
  6. It will also be pocket friendly since the cost of the flight ticket, exchange rate, visa and resident permit are eliminated. Even the tuition fee and accommodation fees might be less since they are not foreigners.
  7. The Federal Government should suspend the contemplated proposal of making the MDCN self-sufficient in terms of funding from payment from the annual registration of practitioners/assessments examination.
  8. The function of the MDCN is beyond conducting assessment examinations but also regulating the regulating practice of Medicine, Dentistry, and Alternative Medicine in the country to safeguard the nation’s healthcare system for the general benefit of the citizens.
  9. The FGN/MDCN may consider exempting the practitioners (my Hippocratic brothers and sisters) from paying any annual dues and tax for the selfless sacrifice of service to Nigerians (sleepless nights of study down to even practice itself). It is worth the taxpayer’s money as a token of appreciation.
  10. The foreign candidates that have failed the MDCN assessment examination can write the MDCN to request copies of their results of assessment which will be duly given to them if respectfully requested, this will show them areas they have a deficiency and plan for the next MDCN assessment examination.
  11. The foreign candidates that have failed the MDCN assessment examination can also associate with the nearest university teaching hospital to them and apply to allow them to study with final year Nigerian medical students and be guided by our Lecturers/Doctors for at least six months to their proposed examination to fill up gaps in their knowledge and skills to pass the next examination.
  12. The Federal and state governments and parents that are still interested in sending their candidates to obtain foreign medical training should go to medical schools in the UK, the US, Ghana and South Africa or ask MDCN for standard national and global universities list to send their wards….CONTINUE READING
  13. The FGN and National Assembly may commend the MDCN for successfully regulating and upholding the standard of Medicine, Dentistry, and Alternative Medicine in the country to safeguard the nation’s healthcare system.
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