Quackery: Police Nab Indian Neurosurgeon Over Illegal Practice
SAN FRANCISCO, February 25, (THEWILL) - The war on quackery appears to be yielding positive results as the Apo Resettlement Division of the Nigeria Police on Monday in Abuja arrested a 57-year-old Indian neurosurgeon, Dr.
Raju Bhuvaneswara Basina, at the Asokoro District Hospital in the Federal Capital Territory, for operating without a licence.
The renewed effort against quackery which led to his arrest was spearheaded by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) .
Basina is said to have been conducting neurosurgical operations at the hospital for more than a year without a licence from MDCN, which is the regulatory agency for doctors and dentists in the country.
The Indian neurosurgeon was at work performing a craniotomy (brain surgery) in an operating theatre at the hospital when the Police and MDCN officials led by Dr.
Henry Okwuokenye and the President, Guild of Medical Directors, Dr.
Tony Phillips, stormed the hospital to arrest him.
However, the Chief Medical Director of Asokoro Hospital, Dr.
Ahmadu Abubakar, pleaded with officials of MDCN to allow the Indian doctor finish his surgery before arresting him.
Okwuokenye, who is the Head (Inspectorate Unit) of MDCN, disclosed that Basina had already been working at Asokoro Hospital for many months before eventually applying for a licence in August last year.
"The MDCN is yet to process Basina's application while response from our counterpart in India's medical regulatory agency is pending.
But Basina has continued to work on contract, insisting that he had applied,' he said.
Okwuokenye maintained that mere application does not confer approval for doctors who are trained outside Nigeria, saying Basina, who submitted his application with photocopies of credentials from Nazims Institute of Medical Sciences and Rangaraya Medical College, should have waited for a response before practicing.
"We wrote a letter to India to tell us about the status and license of Basina but they are yet to get back to us.
Although he claimed to have applied, mere application is not a license to practice.
When we asked him if a doctor could practice in India without license, he said no.
Why then is he practicing in Nigeria? Time has come for us to sanitise the system, Nigeria is not a Banana Republic where anything can happen," Okwuokenye said.
Basina however insisted he trained in the United States among other places, lamenting that getting a practice licence in Nigeria was too long and inconvenient.