It, therefore, directed the Federal Ministry of Health to set up an efficient and proper mechanism to identify and prevent the commercialization of medical reports by public hospitals in the country.
While describing the phenomenon of selling medical reports as a “very dangerous trend in Public Hospitals” the Senate also urged the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) “to intensify its effort in checking incidences of fraud and quackery in the medical profession, especially in public hospitals.”
These resolutions of the Red Chamber followed a motion titled: “The proliferation of Fake Medical Reports emanating from Public Hospitals in Nigeria” which was moved by the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Uche Lilian Ekwunife.
Ekwunife in her lead debate called on the Senate to note with “discomfort” a recent investigation which revealed the ease with which ”authentic” medical reports can be obtained from some public hospitals in Nigeria for a fee without medical tests or proof of identity.
She expressed worry that the “commercialization of medical reports” in the country poses grave danger to the medical health and safety of citizens which could result in fatal misdiagnosis of patients or anyone else who relies on the contents of such medical reports.
She urged the Senate to recognize the “dire importance of the medical report as a document which is accorded great weight and importance in the ordinary course of our day to day business, including courts of law.”
She noted that medical reports contain individual’s personal medical records and details which are used to ascertain a “person’s medical condition, obtain health benefits, certify one’s mental state, investigate addictions, diagnose treatments, and most importantly, ascertain and form medical opinions.”
She lamented that the integrity of medical reports issued by hospitals in the country are being compromised and “eroded by the realization that it may not contain the true and accurate medical details of the person named in the report.”
She said that the Senate is aware that the Code of Ethics of the medical profession abhors the illegal issuance of medical certificates and records to patients without conducting all the relevant tests.
She urged her colleagues to be further aware that even though guidelines exist in the medical profession which proscribe these conducts, there is no “effective implementation of these regulations.”
She said that the Red Chamber should be desirous in curbing what appears to be a trend of commercialization of medical reports in some public hospitals where ‘authentic’ medical reports “are obtained for a fee, and without undergoing any tests whatsoever.”
Senators in their contributions supported the motion.
The two prayers of the motion were approved by Senators when they were put to voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
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