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MDCN Rejects Latest NUC Guidelines On Minimum Standards For Medical Education by sagaciousblog: 8:19am On Nov 10, 2015
The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has reacted to the recently issued minimium standards for Medical education in Nigeria by the National Universities Commission. This reaction was in view of recent publication and activites by some sister regulatory bodies. In its recent public notice, the MDCN stated that it was unaware of any forum or fora at which any amendments have been done to the Guidelines on Minimum Standards for Medical Education in Nigeria. To wit, the legal authority to make any such amendments is the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria at its plenary. Whenever such amendments are made, the general public shall be informed

The council insisted that while universities, through their processes are at liberty to mount academic programmes including medicine and dentistry at undergraduate level, the MDCN remains the sole authority, by virtue of the provisions of sections 1(2) (a); 8(1) & (2); 9(1) (2) & (3); and 19 (1) (a) & (b) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act cap M8 LFN 2004, empowered to deal with approval of courses, institutions and qualifications intended for persons seeking to be registered as members of the medical and dental professions. This function it has discharged successfully using its instruments and capacities from inception. s

It stated that for the avoidance of doubt, it is only the MDCN that is empowered by law to register any graduate of medicine or dentistry as the case maybe, of any institution in Nigeria or elsewhere, to practice legally in Nigeria. The Council assures itself that the prospective medical practitioners or dental surgeons have undergone courses of training in institutions approved by it in accordance with the provisions of the Guidelines on Minimum Standards for Medical and Dental Education in Nigeria.

In exercise of this statutory function the Council has striven even in the midst of the decline in quality across board to ensure that no deviations from the minimum standards are allowed.

On the NYSC Doctors saga, the council noted that recently there has been some confusion about the registration of young doctors who have to undertake the National Service under the National Youth Service scheme.
The Council at Plenary in 2014, directed that the provision of the Medical and Dental Practitioners' Act that only persons who are registered by the MDCN can legally practice Medicine or Dentistry in Nigeria, be adhered to. The Council directed that the practice of admitting persons into the National Youth Service Scheme as doctors on the strength of receipt of payment of application fee for full registration, be discontinued. That practice had become a means for quacks to insinuated themselves into the professions. This decision was communicated to the NYSC and it was implemented with effect from the orientation camp in May. Accredited Internship Training Centres were written letters to inform them of the policy.

The NMA which has eleven representatives on the Council including the President and Secretary General, actively participated in the decision of Council. They were still formally written. Public notices were published in two national dailies, Guardian and Daily Trust, repeatedly. Doctors were informed to submit their duly completed and properly signed forms, at least one month to the date of opening of the orientation camp. Most did and have received their certificates of full registration. A few have problems with their postings which have to be clarified and rectified before their names could be entered into the Register.

The situation on ground now is that persons who finished internship in October trying and insisting on getting into the Orientation Camp of 28 October. Despite knowing that a certificate of full registration is a prerequisite to being admitted into camp some went ahead to Camp without it. We have persons who submitted their applications on Monday 26 October and expect to have the certificate for camp of 28 October. This is despite the fact that there is another stream for 25 November. Predictably, they were rejected by the NYSC based on instructions previously communicated to them from us. Some wrong numbers have been bandied around in the media.

It is very important to note that the registration is a process which is much more than payment of the registration fees which the receipt acknowledges. It requires about four weeks on the average. It could take months if there are discrepancies in the applicant’s forms and sometimes may include the doctor repeating postings which have been deemed improperly done.

We have communicated with the DG NYSC and resolved to admit all those who have commenced their registration process but missed the October 28 camp, into the November 25 stream. This with the proviso that their names will be compiled and sent to us to verify that such names have been admitted to the Register, before the close of orientation camp. Those whose names are not in the Register will not be posted and would be removed from the camp.

It has become necessary to address the public on the regulation of medicine and dentistry in Nigeria. This is necessitated by the recent surge in public discourse in relation to registration of medical practitioners and dental surgeons, minimum academic standards for medical and dental education, discipline of doctors and the issues of quackery.

The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) is established by the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act of 28 June 1988 (now cap M8 LFN 2010) as the successor body to the defunct Nigerian Medical Council established by the repealed Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act of 18 December 1963. The main functions of the Council are specified in section 1(2) of the Act as follows:
a. Determining the standard of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the medical or dental profession and reviewing those standards from time to time as circumstances may permit;
b. Securing the establishment and maintenance of registers of persons entitled to practice as members of the medical or dental profession and the publication from time to time of lists of those persons;
c. Reviewing and preparing from time to time, a statement as to the code of conduct which the Council considers desirable for the practice of the professions in Nigeria;
d. Supervising and controlling the practice of homeopathy and other forms of alternative medicine.
e. Making regulations for the operation of clinical laboratory practice in the field of pathology.
In other words, the Council has the mandate to regulate medical and dental education in Nigeria, register medical practitioners and dental surgeons, prescribe a code of conduct for doctors and discipline erring ones, and supervise and control the practice of alternative medicine. We also have the mandate to regulate the practice of laboratory medicine by medical practitioners. All this is with a view to protect the public by ensuring that registered medical practitioners and dental surgeons are competent persons who practice safe, ethical and responsible medicine.

Registration of medical practitioners and dental surgeons is designed to ensure that only qualified, competent and safe persons are allowed to practice. This is to ensure public safety and uphold the universal standards of orthodox medicine.

There are four categories of Registers for medical practitioners and dental surgeons:

1. Provisional Registration:
Provisional Registration is a requirement for fresh graduates of Medical Schools and Dental Schools. The certificate of Provisional Registration is issued to the graduates at the oath taking ceremony.
It makes them eligible for employment in accredited institutions for the purpose of acquiring practical experience under the personal supervision and guidance of one or more fully registered medical practitioners or dental surgeons who hold the rank of Consultant, in the practice of surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, medicine and paediatrics or dental surgery, as the case may be, for 12 unbroken weeks per subject. Successful completion of such period of employment entitles the person to be issued a certificate of experience (Housemanship forms signed and stamped by the medical practitioner or dental surgeon who is in charge of the institution). The certificate of experience makes the bearer eligible to be registered FULLY on application, as a medical practitioner or dental surgeon as the case may be.

2. Full Registration
A person who has successfully attended a course of training approved by the Council, in an institution approved by Council, and has obtained a certificate of experience as described in (1) above, is entitled on application, to be registered FULLY as a medical practitioner or dental surgeon as the case may be.
A person who is FULLY registered is entitled to practice ALL aspects of medicine or dentistry as the case may be, subject to his expertise and experience. He is issued a certificate of Full Registration as evidence of such registration. The certificate is collected personally at the preferred MDCN office indicated by the applicant. Collection by proxy is permitted only if the authorised proxy is a doctor whose name has been entered in the Full Register.
Any person who practices medicine or dentistry while not fully registered has committed an offence and may be sentenced to a jail term or fine if convicted by court.

3. Registration of Additional Qualifications.
A person who is FULLY registered as a medical practitioner or dental surgeon shall be entitled to register any postgraduate qualification if the qualification is approved by the Council in a specialized branch of medicine or dentistry.
This registration enables the person to practice as a specialist in that branch of medicine or dentistry.

Finally, the council warned that Persons who pass themselves off as specialists when they have not registered any approved postgraduate qualification are liable to being proceeded against by the disciplinary bodies of the professions in Nigeria.

Re: MDCN Rejects Latest NUC Guidelines On Minimum Standards For Medical Education by Nobody: 8:22am On Nov 10, 2015
Interesting, I will read it later. I dey busy now

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