In a recent public notice, the Council stated that it was unaware of any forum or fora at which any amendments was done to the Guidelines on Minimum Standards for Medical Education in Nigeria. They added that the prerogative and legal authority to make any such amendments belongs to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. Also, whenever such amendments are made, the general public will be informed
The council insisted that while universities, through their processes are at liberty to mount academic programmes including medicine and dentistry at undergraduate level, the MDCN remains the sole authority, by virtue of the provisions of sections 1(2) (a); 8(1) & (2); 9(1) (2) & (3); and 19 (1) (a) & (b) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act cap M8 LFN 2004, empowered to deal with approval of courses, institutions and qualifications intended for persons seeking to be registered as members of the medical and dental professions. This function it has discharged successfully using its instruments and capacities from inception.
It stated that for the avoidance of doubt, it is only the MDCN that is empowered by law to register any graduate of medicine or dentistry as the case maybe, of any institution in Nigeria or elsewhere, to practice legally in Nigeria; noting that the council has dutifully ensured no deviations from the minimum standards in the practice of medicine.
On the NYSC Doctors saga, the council noted that recently there was some confusion about the registration of young doctors under the National Youth Service scheme.
They said the practice of admitting persons into the National Youth Service Scheme as doctors on the strength of receipt of payment of application fee for full registration, allowed quacks to insinuate themselves into the profession.
However, they have communicated with the DG NYSC and resolved to admit all those who have commenced their registration process but missed the October 28 camp, into the November 25 stream. This with the proviso that their names will be compiled and sent to the council to verify that such names have been admitted to the Register, before the close of orientation camp. Those whose names are not in the Register will not be posted and would be removed from the camp.
Good enough. But is Medicine going to be 7 years or not? It still remains uncertain.
We just have to wait and see who has the final say between MDCN and the NUC. The case may end up being settled in courts but I hope not.