The Federal Government has been urged to constitute the governing board of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to address medical negligence.
A Professor of Public Health, Oladele Kale, made this call at the weekend at the annual faculty lecture organised by Faculty of Public Health, National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, with the theme:” Medicine, Law, and The Bolam Test”.
He said: “The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria is a regulatory body that regulates the practice of medicine and dentistry in the country, and if it is not formed there cannot be any activity. If doctors fall foul of the law on me now, there is nobody I can report to because the board is not there.
“There are many cases of medical negligence that have not been visited by the council because the board has not been constituted. Most times the doctors can find excuses for what they did. For instance, the man that claimed to have discovered the cure for HIV, Abalaka’s case is still there pending, and much more.”
A medical-legal consultant, who was the guest lecturer at the event, Prof Paul Osuhor, said the Bolam test has made it difficult for plaintiffs to successfully make claim against a defendant doctor in cases of medical negligence
He added that the success rate by a patient is under 40 per cent compared with a much higher percentage of non-medical cases.