The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), have announced the withdrawal of their services from medical education in the universities.
Chairman, MDCAN UITH, Dr Muhammed Adeboye, said this at a news conference on Wednesday in Ilorin.
He said that the withdrawal was impetus after the failure of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to withdraw its circular on Fellows of Post Graduate Medical colleges employed as Lecturer 1 would not progress beyond level until they obtain a PhD in the related field.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that MDCAN had on Feb. 3 given NUC 21 days ultimatum to withdraw its circular on their insistence on getting a PhD to progress beyond Lecturer 1.
Adeboye said the withdrawal from universities may proceed with post graduate/specialist training and ultimately withdraw services from patients, if demands are not met.
”We pray that the relevant apparatus of the government at all levels, public and private individuals should prevail on the NUC Executive Secretary and others involved to withdraw same and return to status quo.
”This is because the proposal will worsen the lot of medical education by driving away doctors from medical education and out of the country.
”It is obnoxious, discriminatory and unjust and has no bearing with the realities confronting the health sector in present day Nigeria and to that extent irresponsible.
”It has the potential to crumble the sector if not stopped, which is why we are fighting against it,” the chairman said.
He added that PhD does not improve individual patient care, nor does it improve effectiveness of teaching, whereas the overall aim of medical education at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels is to produce doctors and specialists competent enough to practice in safety and preserve lives.
”Existing structure of medical education without PhD has produced medical doctors and specialists that have not only manned the country’s health infrastructure but are highly sought after by employers notably by the Americas, Australia, Middle East and Europe,” Adeboye said.
The chairman noted that the problem of medical education in Nigeria today was not necessarily poor quality of the products, but the poor quantity of the output.
”In Nigeria, we have patient ratio of 1:6,000 as against World Health Organisation recommended 1:400 and other indices such as maternal mortality, infant mortality, life expectancy are equally poor,” Adeboye said.
He said it was unfortunate that Nigerian universities are not attractive career destinations for medical specialists because of poor renumeration practices as teachers and not doctors.
”This is despite the fact that they practice both as teachers and doctors.
”There is a difficulty in attracting and retaining specialists into careers in academia and this is worsening the brain drain already ravaging the country,” Adeboye said.
NAN reports that MDCAN is the body of Medical and Dental Consultants who are specialist doctors in various fields.
They teach both undergraduate and post-graduate students in colleges of medicine across the nation.
They also train resident doctors for minimum.of six years before grooming them to also become consultants after series of examinations culminating them them becoming Fellows of the Postgraduate college(s).