To introduce a policy to regulate foreign-based doctors
The Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency, HEFAMAA, has shut down Vedic Lifecare Hospital, for engaging unlicensed expatriates even as it disclosed that the agency will be introducing a policy to regulate Foreign-Based Transient Medical Doctors, FBTMD.
In a press statement obtained from the website of HEFAMMA and signed by the Head, Public Affairs, HEFAMAA, Uthman M. Ayokunle, the Executive Secretary of the Agency, Dr. Abiola Idowu explained that the hospital, located at Plot 6, Olabanji Olajide Street, Lekki, was sealed for engaging expatriate staff who have not been certified to practice locally.
She said: “The facility was shut down for engaging three foreign doctors and a nurse with unverified certificates and without licenses from any professional body.”
Idowu explained that the closure will not affect the in-patients already admitted.
She further revealed that the Agency is aware that some facilities are engaging Foreign-Based Transient Medical Doctors, FBTMD, who come into the State, stay for a period of time to provide medical care to patients and perform medical procedures following which they return to their respective countries.
Speaking, the Chairman, HEFAMAA Governing Board, Dr. Yemisi Solanke-Koya noted that the practice raises consequential concerns regarding the regulatory oversight of healthcare in the State.
Solanke-Koya expressed concerns on whether the facilities where the FBTMDs provide medical care are registered with and meet the standards required by HEFAMAA; whether the FBTMDs themselves possess the requisite credentials and experience required to practice the designated specialities they travel to the State for and whether the provisions made for the realm of continuity of care of the patients when the FBTMDs leave the State meet the standard of care.
Solanke-Koya warned that hospitals in Lagos should desist from using foreigners whose certificates and licenses have not been verified by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN.
She stated that the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi has directed that the Agency implement a FBTMD policy that will ensure that FBTMDs are approved by the Medical Dental Council of Nigeria to practice medicine in the country.
She said the Commissioner demanded that such approval must be submitted and duly registered with HEFAMAA prior to commencing the practice of medicine in the State to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of Lagosians and hold the facilities engaging FTDMBs accountable.