NMA to probe Suntai fitness

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The Nigerian Medical Association has said it will set up a medical board to ascertain the fitness or otherwise of  Governor  Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State.

NMA, in a statement by its President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele and Secretary-General, Dr Akpufuoma Pemu, at the end of its National Executive Council meeting in Sokoto, with the theme “Promoting Medical Check-ups as key to preventing sudden deaths,” said it was “deeply concerned with the anxiety and imbroglio occasioned by the fitness or otherwise of Governor  Suntai.”

The body which admonished “the parties involved in the quagmire to sheath their swords and abide by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution,” also said “NMA is very prepared to make available her expert members who are professionals in various fields of medicine to constitute a medical board to resolve the lingering question of the medical fitness of the governor’’.

While calling on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to establish the Office of the Surgeon-General of the Federation, NMA said such initiative would “save the nation the great embarrassment caused by the question of the medical fitness or otherwise of our public and political leaders.”

NMA renewed its call for the inauguration of the Governing Board of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, saying, “The NMA remains greatly handicapped by the fact that there is currently no judge/Council Chairman to preside over investigated cases brought before it. The Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act provides that only the chairman of council shall preside over the tribunal (which has the status of a high court).

“Over the last 10 years, the governing board of the MDCN has cumulatively not been in place for more than four years. The last council was dissolved in 2010 with no replacement since then. All calls made to government to inaugurate the council have so far not yielded any result.

“The implication of this is that the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Tribunal is non-existent in the country today; a situation akin to a country without Police Criminal Investigation  Department  and justice system. How well Nigerian medical practice is regulated today, including the fight against quackery and other unwholesome practices, are better imagined than experienced.”

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