By Chioma Obinna,
Lagos—The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, yesterday faulted plans by the National Universities Commission, NUC, to jerk up the duration of medical education from six to 11 years, saying; “It is worrisome, convulsive, and capable of causing unnecessary tension among parents, students and other stakeholders.”
Reacting to a statement credited to the Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, who spoke through the Deputy Executive Secretary, Prof. Chiedu Mafiana at a function in Ondo, that the medical course duration may now be 11 years, Vice President of Commonwealth Medical Association and former President of the NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele said they have no knowledge of such policy for now.
The former NMA President, who demanded immediate explanation by NUC on the alleged increase said such decision cannot be taken without the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, pre-eminently vested with the power to determine the standards of knowledge and skill to be attained by persons seeking to become members of the medical and dental profession and reviewing those standards from time to time, as expressed in section 1, subsection 2 (a) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act CAP M8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
According to him, if no clarification is offered immediately, Nigerians will be left to imagine and suffer from the innumerable consequences of such a strange policy initiative.
Enabulele pointed out that such a policy initiative which is bound to impact on the cost of training of a doctor and people’s proclivity for the medical profession especially with the declining purchasing power of Nigerians and worsening misery index due to harsh economic situation cannot be undertaken arbitrarily by the NUC.