Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Police releases fake Abuja doctor on bail

Victor Akpan, the man who ran a hospital in Gwarinpa using a forged practice licence, has been released by the police. Akpan was arrested in June and his Luna Hospital in Gwarinpa village sealed by regulatory authorities.

It was gathered that investigation into Akpan’s case has been stalled. It has also emerged that Akpan ran two other hospitals in Kado and Kabusa, contravening the rules of the Private Health Establishment and Monitoring Committee (PHEMC) which licenses private health outfits in Abuja. PHEMC prohibits the running of more than two hospitals—a main office and annex — within each area council.

Aso Chronicle learnt that the Kado hospital originally belonged to a woman but was renamed Luna, alongside a second outfit in Kabusa, and ran under the same name.

Akpan registered his hospitals in 2006 and he used to pay visit  there as a “consultant” to carry out caesarean sections for a number of patients at both hospitals, according to PHEMC.

The Luna Clinic, located at Gwarinpa village, was described as “dilapidated. “As if he’s not treating human beings there,” PHEMC registrar, Ibrahim Tata, said on his first visit there.

Tata said that he noticed the three  names shortly after and “we closed them (Kabusa and Kado) and asked him to process their own registration separately.”

He said that the committee’s focus turned to the Luna at Gwarinpa village.

“I started following him and discovered in his practice he has been careless. I started suspecting him but when I looked at his documents, he had MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) registration. But the MDCN gave me a call and said there is a suspect doctor working in the FCT,” he said.

MDCN’s investigation led to Akpan’s arrest on June 10, and he admitted to the police that he paid N15,000 to get a forged licence to practice as a surgeon when he registered Luna in the FCT.

“The name of the doctor operating is different from the documentation made, that’s how we knew that the person there is a quack,” said Dr Abdulmumini Ibrahim, the registrar of MDCN.

 “Up till now, we have not received any response to the letters we wrote to the school where he said he trained. That may also turn out to be fake documentation.”

As far as both the MDCN and PHEMC know, a school of homeopathy does not teach orthodox medicine and doesn’t have surgery on its curriculum. Now both bodies question where and how Akpan acquired his skills for gynecological surgeries.

“We have cases in rural areas where hospital attendants claim the knowledge they don’t have and go to the extent of posing as doctors,” Ibrahim said.

Photos of him performing surgeries were pasted on the wall of his consultation room at the Luna Hospital in Gwarinpa.

Tata said: “It is not every case you have to display. That gives us a clue there is something fishy. All doctors do surgeries but they don’t plaster their walls with their surgeries. For CS, he has been doing it, but it didn’t occur to me he is fake. If someone can sit down and do CS, thinking about forgery is out of the question.

“The law enforcement agencies need to investigate further to find out where he got his apprenticeship. Maybe some of his colleagues are doing similar things. He has already confessed his certificate was forged. That person who helped him has to be traced. For him to succeed with Akpan, it means he may be doing it for others.”

It would be recalled that that the MDCN said that, at least, 10 quack doctors have been unveiled this year. But the mandate of the MDCN covers only misconduct of qualified doctors. It can only provide witness evidence when police prosecute fake doctors.

Now more than a month after Akpan was arrested, sources say that the MDCN officials have not been informed of any moves to prosecute him.

Source: Daily Trust

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