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Two doctors get three months suspension for misconduct

The eight-man Disciplinary Tribunal of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria chaired by Dr. J. C. Azubuike, has slammed a three months suspension on two Doctors: Friday  Wokoma and Theophilus Masha Dabkana for breaching professional ethics.

With this development, the Doctors who were among the 11 doctors who are to face trial by the tribunal would not practice for a period of three months.

In the judgment which was obtained by journalists on Monday in Abuja, the tribunal adjourned its sittings to May 6 for the continuation of trial.

Wokoma, a consultant and Head of the Renal and Haemodialysis Unit at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital was accused of being negligent in the case of one Victor Afego.

The charge made against Wokoma was that as Head of the Renal Unit in UPTH, he failed to attend to a patient, Mr. Victor Afego throughout his admission between November 29, 2009 and January 12, 2010.

However, Wokoma testified that the patient was admitted under the Cardiology Unit between November 29 and December 16, 2009 and was therefore not under his supervision.

But the prosecution counsel relied on Rule 29 (i) of the Code of Medical Ethics in Nigeria 2008 concerning patients on intravenous therapy which stated that “all patient on intravenous therapy and particularly blood transfusion, should be within sight of qualified supervising clinician at all times.”

The Tribunal held that although Consultants cannot be everywhere, there must be in place, systems and procedures to ensure adequate supervision and monitoring of junior doctors.

The tribunal described as untenable the assertion that the Renal Unit with Wokoma (Head of the Renal Unit) and having three Consultants below him were all responsible for all patients with no consultants owning a patient.

“In such a system, therefore, the buck must stop at the desk of the Head of Unit, Dr. Wokoma in this instance. When all things are taken together therefore, Dr. Wokoma cannot be exonerated because in his case, there has been abdication of responsibility and the charge of negligence has been proven”, it stated.

The MDCN Disciplinary Tribunal held that having reviewed all the evidence before it and the submissions, it found Dr. Friday Wokoma guilty of professional negligence contrary to Rules 29 and 43 of the Code of Medical Ethics in Nigeria 2008 edition and punishable under section 16(1)a and (2) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap M8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

On the other hand, Dabkana, a registered medical practitioner, was said to have ignored requests made by the Medical and Dental Practitioners Investigating Panel in the course  of its investigation of the allegation of professional misconduct made against  him by one Ayuba Kwagni Alamson.

The Tribunal held that Dabkana conducted himself infamously  by acting in contempt of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Investigating Panel contrary to Rule 28 1(a – d and g of the Code of Medical Ethics in Nigeria, 2008 edition which is punishable under Section 16 (1) and (2) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act Cap M8 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

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