The Senate on Tuesday directed the Federal Ministry of Health to set up an efficient and proper mechanism to identify and prevent quackery in public hospitals across the country
The red chamber also urged the Nigerian Medical Association to intensify its effort to check incidences of fraud and quackery in the medical profession.
The lawmakers lamented that the dangerous trend in public hospitals; poses great risks to the lives of Nigerians.
The Senate took the decision after a debate on a motion on the proliferation of fake medical reports emanating from public hospitals in Nigeria sponsored by Senator Uche Ekwunife.
Presenting her motion, Ekwunife noted with discomfort, a recent investigation which revealed the ease with which “authentic” medical reports could be obtained from 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.
She 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 who 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 in 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 proscribe these conducts, but no effective implementation of these regulations.”