Attorney General reads riot act to doctors in Ekiti

Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Olawale Fapohunda on Monday appealed to doctors in the state to strictly adhere to the code of Professional Conduct for Medical and Dental Practitioners also known as the Code of Medical Ethics.

Speaking on the topic, “Random Thoughts on Medico-Legal Issues: What Every Doctor Should Know,” at the 3rd Olayiwola Olajide Leadership Lecture Series of the Association of Resident Doctors held at the Ekiti State School of Nursing Auditorium, Ado-Ekiti, Fapohunda enlightened the medical practitioners on legal and professional implications of medical negligence.

He lamented the rate at which negligence by medical practitioners has led to the loss of lives.

Fapohunda said: “Last week I received a call from an old friend of mine living in one of the states in Nigeria, she was distraught and after several attempts to calm her down she told me in between tears that another friend of ours was stabbed in the neck by hoodlums on her way home from work.

“According to her, the victim was rushed to the nearest hospital but the doctor on duty refused to attend to her because there was no accompanying police report and those who brought her to the hospital were unable to put down any deposit for the treatment. She died on the way to another hospital.”

The Attorney General also claimed that the reality of many Nigerians today is that like other profession the medical profession is struggling to live up to the ideals of the profession.

“We are all, when I say we, I include the legal profession, the engineers and the likes, in a situation where the prestige attached to our profession is fast eroding largely because our countrymen and women do not see us working in their interest.

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“No less important is the tragic commercialisation of our professions. We seem to have forgotten that we are human beings first before lawyers, doctors, engineers etc,” he said.

He, however, urged the medical practitioners to rise up to the reality of the country, their professional responsibilities, including the esteem that is attached to their profession which enjoins them to carry more than their fair share of societies problems.

In his words: “We are all human beings first before whatever professional cap we are putting on. The medical profession like the legal profession should rise up to the reality of our country.

“Our professional responsibility including the esteem that attaches to our profession enjoins us to carry more than our fair share of societies problems.

“The process of political and social transformation in Nigeria challenge doctors in terms of the services that they provide to the public. medical practitioners will have to ensure that the profession is sensitive and responsive to our people’s needs and concerns.

“Indeed the medical profession again like other professions have to undertake a process of self-appraisal. We have to ask ourselves whether the esteem that is attached to our profession is deserved and whether the citizens increasing vote of no confidence in us is justified.”

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