28 November 2012

Liberia: Doctors Trained in China Are Condemned

The Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC) in accordance with its mandate to regulate, license and supervise the medical sector has warned non-medical practitioners especially Chinese who impersonate as clinicians to desist or face prosecution.

Making the disclosure at a press conference at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Sinkor, LMDC Registrar-General Dr. Nyaquoi K. Kargbo said the council is concerned of the increase in Chinese doctors coming to the country.

"The Liberia Medical and Dental Council is also concerned that Chinese Doctors coming to Liberia on bilateral agreements are practicing at the John F. Kennedy Hospital without being licensed by the Liberia Medical and Dental Council", the Registrar noted.

Dr. Nyaquoi pointed out that the council is also disheartened that many of these Chinese professionals are unable to communicate in English and tare providing drugs and medical supplies written in Chinese.

He cited that some equipment is being brought into Liberia by a group called Bioform. "This group has brought in a machine called the quantum analyzer that has been used to make unwarranted diagnosis on the patient population".

The Registrar-General indicated that LMDC has played a successful role in the accreditation of health training institutions, accreditation of hospitals for internship training, registration and licensure, quality assurance of the practice of health professionals, complaints and resolutions and professionalism.

According to him, the council has recognized that the media has a role to play in informing the gullible Liberian public against non-medical practitioners who impersonate as clinicians and causing harm to people.

"The press has a role in ensuring that medical practitioners who engage in practices beyond and above their qualifications are exposed; facilities in which illegal abortions are being carried out should be revealed to the public; and to join hands in educating the public about patient rights and the responsibilities of health workers to their patients", he warned..

He named numerous challenges faced in every aspect of the medical work to include some Liberian practitioners not renewing licenses on time.

"This results in illegal medical practice that can carry a penalty anywhere from fines to suspension of licenses. We are encouraging all Liberian practitioners who are to bear a license to ensure that their licenses are renewed on time and to remain current", he added.

Dr Nyaquoi furthered that the Liberian practitioners include medical doctors, nurses, physician assistants and other allied health workers, adding: "it should serve as a final warning to all physicians and other health workers who are unlicensed or refused to renew their licenses.

The Registrar-General added that in the coming monitoring exercise, in which the respective boards shall be represented, unlicensed health workers shall be stopped for working until their licenses are renewed, and the institutions shall be fined for having unlicensed practitioners in their facilities.

He furthered that there are many international companies that are bringing doctors and paramedics into Liberia without reference to the Liberia Medical and Dental Council.

"Some of these companies, as a matter of policy, are deliberately not employing qualified Liberian health workers in order to bring their countrymen into Liberia to siphon resources back home", he asserted.

Dr. Nyaquoi pointed out that the Liberia Medical and Dental Council shall take steps to ensure that qualified Liberian health professionals take up these positions as a means of providing jobs for Liberians. "These steps will be made public in due course".

The Registrar-General said the institution is also expressed concern that Liberians graduating from Chinese medical schools are exhibiting below standard performance as Interns.

"We have made attempts to discuss this issue with the Educational Counselor of the Chinese to no avail", the surgeon expressed.

He used the occasion to encourage the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to send any other student to China to study medicine until those schools are accredited by the Liberia Medical and Dental Council.

"The Council is concerned that those Liberians return home and are unable to cope with the practice, and the immense stress imposed on them", he noted.

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