The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Bayelsa State Council, says it will stop at nothing to ensure that quacks in the medical profession are fished out and punished appropriately.
Chairman of the NMA in Bayelsa, Dr. Ngowari Torunana who stated this in an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Yenagoa, bemoaned the damage people have suffered as a result of quackery.
He also urged Bayelsans to protect their lives by not going to unauthorized places to seek health care services, but rather patronize accredited hospitals and health institutions to get adequate and proper medical treatment.
Dr. Torunana noted that the recent arrest and prosecution of a fake medical doctor who was sentenced to four years in prison should serve as a deterrent to others that are going about claiming to be medical doctors and other health professionals when they are not.
“The same way this case was found, that is how others will be fished out, so I call on those claiming to be medical doctors but they are not, to leave the state, because when they are caught the situation will not be treated with kid gloves”, he said.
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Concerning the Anti-quackery Bill before the state House of Assembly, the NMA chairman said that the bill is very important to the association, and is very optimistic that the lawmakers will expeditiously pass it for the governor’s executive assent.
He explained that the Anti-quackery Bill is a way of checkmating medical practices in the state, adding that “quackery also occurs in pharmacies where consultation takes place and also in laboratories, and if any one is caught the individual will face the full weight of the law.
“The NMA as an association strongly condemns any form of quackery, because the lives of Bayelsans come first before talking about anything or association and that is why we decided to pursue the bill”.
Commenting on the Bayelsa State Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Torunana disclosed that before the scheme was introduced, the patient turnover was very low, because people paid from their pockets which discouraged many from going to the hospital.
He also pointed out that during the late D.S.P Alamieyeseigha’s administration, there was a similar scheme in place known as the Bayelsa Health Service Scheme, but it died naturally, stressing that the existing health insurance scheme has enabled Bayelsans access better health services that will have been too expensive.