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Fraudulent medical reports: Senate berates public hospitals

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Senate leader, Lawan. Photo: TWITTER/SENATE

*Wants NMA, FG to check quackery in health sector

The Senate yesterday decried the dangerous trend in public hospitals whereby fraudulent medical reports for fake reasons are obtained by proxy mostly by public servants, which they said poses great risks to the lives of Nigerians.

Hence, to identify and prevent quackery in public hospitals across the country, the Senate asked the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) to set up an efficient and proper mechanism.

The upper chamber also urged the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to up the ante in its effort in checkmating incidences of fraud and quackery in the medical profession. The lawmakers reached the resolutions after a thorough debate on a motion on the proliferation of fake medical reports emanating from public hospitals in Nigeria sponsored by Senator Uche Ekwunife.

Ekwunife, while presenting her motion, noted with concern, a recent investigation that revealed the ease with which “authentic” medical reports could be obtained some public hospitals in Nigeria for a fee. She said the reports could be obtained without any medical tests whatsoever or even proof of identity.

The senator expressed worry that the commercialisation of medical reports poses a grave danger to the medical health and safety of Nigerians.

She said the development could result in fatal misdiagnosis of patients or anyone else that relies on the contents of such medical reports.

Ekwunife underscored 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.

She added that 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.

She said the document could also be used to investigate addictions, diagnose treatments, and most importantly, ascertain and form medical opinions. She expressed regrets that the integrity of the medical report was being compromised and eroded by the realisation that it might not contain the true and accurate medical details of the person named in the report.

She said, “I am 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.

“I am aware that guidelines exist in the medical profession which prescribes these conducts, but no effective implementation of these regulations.”


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