The Senate yesterday, said that it has concluded arrangements to go after hospitals across the country that allegedly issue fake medical reports. Consequently, the Senate has mandated the Federal Ministry of Health to set up an efficient and proper mechanism to identify and prevent the issuance of fake medical reports in Public Hospitals.
The Senate has also urged the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to intensify its effort in checking incidences of fraud and quackery in the medical profession, especially in public hospitals
According to the Upper Chamber, the trend of issuing and receiving fake medical report has posed a big danger to the country and its citizens. Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion entitled, “The proliferation of Fake Medical Reports emanating from Public Hospitals in Nigeria,” sponsored by Senator Uche Ekwunife, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Anambra Central.
Presenting the motion, Senator Ekwunife said that a recent investigation revealed the ease with which “authentic” medical reports can be obtained from some public hospitals in Nigeria for a fee, and without requiring any medical tests whatsoever, or even proof of identity.
According to her, the commercialization of medical reports poses a grave danger to the medical health and safety of the citizens and could result in fatal misdiagnosis of patients or anyone else who relies on the contents of such medical reports. Senator Ekwunife said that the Senate “Recognizes the dire importance of the medical report as a document which is accorded great weight and importance in the ordinary course of our day to day business, including courts of law.”
“The medical report contains an individual’s personal medical records and details which are used to ascertain a person’s medical condition, obtain health benefits, certify one’s mental state, investigate addictions, diagnose treatments, and most importantly, ascertain and form medical opinions.”
“Regrets that the integrity of the medical report is being compromised and eroded by the realization that it may not contain the true and accurate medical details of the person named in the report; “Aware that the Code of Ethics of the medical profession abhors the illegal issuance of medical certificates and records to patients without conducting all the relevant tests;
“Further aware that guidelines exist in the medical profession which prescribes these conducts, but no effective implementation of these regulations; and desirous of curbing what appears to be a trend of commercialization of medical reports in some public hospitals where “authentic” medical reports are obtained for a fee, and without undergoing any tests whatsoever.”
In his contribution, Senator Theodore Orji, PDP, Abia Central) said that because of the quest for money, medical practitioners keep issuing fake medical reports without caring about the damages it causes, just as he stressed that the NMA must monitor their people who engage in such illegal act.
On his part, Senator Patrick Abba Moro, PDP, Benue South said that the new development was worrisome and that fake medical report combined with the existence of fake drugs are dangerous to the country. He said innocent persons are vulnerable to conviction adding that such an act by medical practitioners should be condemned and that the security agencies and the government should rise to the challenge and sanction such people who engaged in illegality.
In his contribution, Senator Sandy Onuh, PDP, Cross River Central said that across the globe, Nigerian doctors are rated the best, adding that the motion raised by his colleague shows that bad medical report leads to avoidable deaths.
On his part, former deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, PDP, Enugu West who noted that the ongoing unprofessionalism should be condemned, said that professionals in the country are failing because of lack of standards, adding that beyond the general ethical conduct guiding the professions, there should be a law that should save the country from embarrassment.
Also contributing, former deputy Senate leader, Bala Na’Allah, Kebbi South said that fake medical reports are not what can be described as comprehensive medical reports and they are carried out by different medical doctors.