Indian Neurosurgeon Arrested In Abuja For Practicing Without LicenceFeatured, Latest News, News Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
An Indian Neurosurgeon, Dr. Raju Bhuvaneswara Basina, has been arrested by officials of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria for operating without a practice licence.
The 53 years old Doctor was arrested by the Police from Apo Resettlement Division on Monday in Abuja at Asokoro District Hospital in the Federal Capital Territory, following a fresh round of onslaught by the MDCN against quackery.
He was said to have been conducting Neurosurgical operations at Asokoro District Hospital for more than a year without licence from MDCN, the regulating agency for doctors and dentists in the country.
Basina was performing a Craniotomy (brain surgery) in an operating theatre when police and MDCN’s inspectorate officials led by Dr. Henry Okwuokenye arrived at the Hospital for his arrest.
The team was also accompanied by President of the Guild of Medical Directors, Dr. Tony Phillips.
The Chief Medical Director of Asokoro Hospital, Dr. Ahmadu Abubakar, had to prevail on officials of MDCN to wait for him to finish his surgery before thy could pick him up.
Okwuokenye who is Head (Inspectorate Unit) of MDCN, told journalists that investigations have revealed that Basina had already been working as a Doctor at Asokoro Hospital for many months before eventually applying for a licence in August last year.
He said, “The MDCN is yet to process Basina’s application while response from our counterpart in India’s medical regulating agency is pending.
But Basina has continued to work on contract, insisting that he had applied.
According to him, mere application did not constitute the temporary licence meant for Doctors who are trained outside Nigeria adding that Basina should have waited for response before practicing.
“We wrote a letter to India to tell us about the status and license of Basina but they are yet to get back to us. Although he claimed to have applied, mere application is not a license to practice. When we asked him of a Doctor could practice in India without license, he said No. Why then is he practicing in Nigeria? Time has come for us to sanitize the system, Nigeria is not a banana Republic where anything can happen”, Okwuokenye stated.
Among documents Basina filed in his application are photocopies of credentials from Nazims Institute of Medical Sciences and Rangaraya Medical College.
As at the time of this report, it was not clear if Basina has been granted bail by the police.
During talks with regulation officials at the Hospital, Basina insisted he trained in the United States among other places, but added that getting a practice licence in Nigeria was too long and inconvenient.
At a point, he insisted that practicing licences were easily ordered “over the phone” in India or took “less than two days” in the US.
“Can I do this in India? I go to india, I apply, and while waiting for them, I start practising?”, Okwuokenye queried.
Okwuokenye insisted that an “application was not equivalent to licence”, pointing out that there were other Indian and foreign doctors practicing in Nigeria with due licensing.
He said the MDCN was committed to clamping down on undue practice by persons claiming to be Doctors in new crackdown ordered by its Registrar/CEO, Dr. Abdulmumini Ibrahim.
At least three separate cases involving improper licencing are facing prosecution in court, the council revealed.
Basina is in his second one-year contract at the Hospital but his arrest questions how his contract was renewed, his services hired or posted to Asokoro DH without a practice licence.
The FCT Administration, through its establishment unit and Health Secretariat, centrally hires and posts Doctors to its district hospitals, managed by the Hospitals Management Board.
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