Friday, July 30, 2021

#JusticeforPeju: Doctors shun FCCPC public hearing

Medical doctors accused of professional misconduct have shunned the FCCPC’s public inquiry.

• June 16, 2021

Medical doctors accused of professional misconduct have shunned the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s public inquiry to investigate the death of Peju Ugboma.

The deceased’s family had accused Premier Specialist Medical Centre of negligence and mismanagement of Mrs Ugboma’s health last April.

On Tuesday, the panel began the public hearing held in Ikeja. Members of the panel included representatives from government agencies, Afolabi Shonekan, Kuttuh Aondoaved, Moyosore Onigbanjo, Binyerem Ukaire, Joan Oluyemi, Komolafe Latifah, Babatunde Irukera, among others.

But the hospital’s doctors were absent.

One of the doctors, Osinowo Omole, who refused to show up, sent a legal counsel, Abimbola Akeredolu. The lawyer explained to the panel that Dr Osinowo had travel abroad. However, the panel explained that Dr Oshinowo did not give prior notice.

The legal counsel argued that Dr Oshinowo requested a virtual testimony with the panel, but he did not receive a response.

The FCCPC executive vice-chairman, Mr Irukera, said the panel emailed Dr Oshinowo but had not received a reply.

“There is no professional ethics that is subject to confidentiality of the clients who have signed all the applicable waiver. The only ethics I believe you are referring to will be confidentiality. But there is absolutely no ethical obligation that is at stake to testify,” Mr Irukea said.

According to the hospital’s lawyer, the doctors who were initially present at the public hearing received warnings from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and the Nigerian Medical Association that they would lose their licences if they appear before the panel.

Similarly, Evercare Hospital medical doctors were represented by a lawyer, who also cited MDCN and NMA’s warnings.

Last May, the FCCPC said it had opened an investigation of possible rights violations that led to the death of two patients in Lagos and Ogun.

“With respect to late Mrs Ugboma, available information suggests that she was admitted at Premier Hospital, Victoria Island, on April 22, to undergo what appeared to be an elective procedure.

“The information also implies that the procedure appeared to be uneventful, and the patient survived the operation. However, after the procedure, complications may have arisen, but the hospital continued management, including intensive care,” stated the FCCPC.

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