A consultant surgeon, Prof. Sunday Elusoji will no longer practice medicine in Nigeria over malpractice, false pretense and other unethical behaviours.
The Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal in Abuja barred the medical doctor from practising for life, while another one earned a six-month suspension.
The two medical practitioners were punished for gross negligence, incompetence and malpractice, the tribunal ruled.
Delivering his judgment last Thursday, chairman of the MDPDT, Prof. Abba Waziri Hassan, said the name of a Consultant Surgeon at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Prof. Sunday Elusoji, should be struck off the register of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
The interpretation of the verdict was that Elusoji had been barred for life from practising as a medical doctor.
Elusoji was arraigned on four counts of conducting himself “infamously in a professional respect,” contrary to the provisions of Rule 29.4 h of the Code of Medical Ethics in Nigeria 2008 edition.
He pleaded not guilty.
Elusoji was convicted of engaging in malpractice while attending to one Uwa Osagie in his private facility, Our Medical Centre (a.k.a. Our Hospital) and for failing to do what he was supposed to do for his patient’s good.
In the four counts, Elusoji, who, until his conviction, was a registered Medical Practitioner and Consultant Surgeon at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Edo State, was found guilty of three counts of malpractice, operating his private clinic while under the employment of the UBTH and pretending to have managed the said patient at the UBTH by issuing a medical report using the UBTH letterhead.
The offence is punishable under Section 16 (1) (a) and (2) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap. M8 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.
Elusoji was found guilty of counts one, three and four, while the charge on count two was dismissed.
The patient (the complainant), whose leg has been amputated had on the 10th of March, 2013, visited the doctor after sustaining a gunshot injury to his right leg from robbers.
The doctor however failed to take an x-ray on the patient to determine the level of damage before he carried out treatment on the patient. He also did not invite an orthopedic surgeon who is more suitable surgeon/specialist for such surgical procedures like amputation.
Also, instead of treating the patient in his primary place of employment, he managed the patient at his private clinic even without the input and expertise of an orthopedic surgeon.
While delivering his judgment, Hassan, said, “There is no moral justification to an act of malpractice; the respondent ought to know, based on his standing in the profession that his action was unethical.
“This count has been established by the prosecution, and it is really so unfortunate that the respondent who is a Professor of Surgery in the School of Medicine will engage in such an unprofessional and infamous conduct in a professional respect. The tribunal finds the respondent guilty as charged under this count.
“On count four, the tribunal finds that the respondent owns and operates ‘Our Medical Centre,’ admitted patients who by themselves deposed to witness statement on oath in support of a civil suit he filed at the High court, that is the witness statements on oath of Edna Ebasonah and Sandra Owie, both of whom attested to the fact that the respondent is the proprietor of the clinic.
“The tribunal, therefore, has no difficulty based on the totality of the evidence placed before this tribunal, to find the respondent guilty as charged on count four.
“His name is struck-off the register.”
However, a Consultant Surgeon with Ajayi Oriaifo Memorial Hospital, Benin City, Dr. Adolphus Oriaifo, got six-month suspension from practice.
Oriaifo, a registered medical practitioner and consultant surgeon at Ajayi Oriaifo Memorial Hospital at No 1 Felix Elema Street Off Reuben Agho Avenue G.R.A. Benin City, Edo State, was found guilty of all the three charges preferred against him.
The MDPDT said the conduct of Oriaifo, while attending to a patient, Augustine Dike (now deceased), “were manifestly incompetent” in the manner he assessed and managed his condition and by that conducted yourself infamously in a professional respect.”
The Tribunal noted that Oriaifo was “manifestly incompetent and grossly negligent” in the management of Dike’s condition between 17th and 29th September, 2013.
The tribunal subsequently gave him six-month suspension.
According to the tribunal, Oriaifo’s offences contravened Section 16 (1) (a) and (2) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act CAP. M8 2004 (as amended).
The MDPDT found him guilty of the three counts, for which he had also pleaded “not guilty.”
“From the facts of the case, it is clear that the unitary output was not monitored; no catheter was passed, and there was no prophylaxis.
“The post-mortem shows that he [Dike] died from embolese. The respondent did not give the patient the standard of care necessary in the circumstances.
“The prosecution has therefore succeeded in proving all the three counts of the charge,” Hassan declared.
The Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal is set up to try specified offences under the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act. It has no jurisdiction to try criminal offences at large.
The Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has the status of state high courts. Appeals of its judgments lies to the Court of Appeal.