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2 doctors suspended for misconduct in patients death

A tribunal has suspended two doctors for “professional misconduct” and “infamous practice” that led to the death of two people.

Both doctors, Charles Ikeji and Terhemba Lan, will not be able to practise medicine from February 18 for six months, ruled a tribunal of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, which regulates the practice and teaching of medicine and dentistry.

The tribunal heard Ikeji, in practice since 1984, operated on a 60-year-old hypertensive patient using ketamine, a drug used to induce sleep during surgery but cautioned against in cases of high blood pressure.

The patient died and he was suspended by an investigation panel of the council in May 2019.

The tribunal found him guilty on four counts—that he “exhibited incompetence in the way he managed the patient”, “failed to do all that was necessary for the patient” and “failed to conduct his medical duty” in accordance with standards.

The tribunal also found Lan, almost 20 years a doctor, guilty on four counts of misconduct. Lan was investigated by a panel of the council and suspended last July for leaving his hospital “open, knowing there was no competent person” to oversee the hospital in his absence.

Lan was unavailable on 29 March 2018 at his private clinic-and-maternity practice in Bwari when a patient visited and his absence “enabled a person not registered as a medical doctor to attend to a patient in your care,” the tribunal said.

In the absence of any doctor overseeing the hospital, a community health worker attended to the patient—and even signed a form referring the patient to National Hospital and also a certificate of death when the patient died.

The tribunal ruled it a “malpractice”—and its sentence suspending Lan’s practice for six months can be challenged only in a court of appeal.

Both judgments mark the last of cases in which hearings started since last year.

The investigation panel of MDCN is to arraign 12 more doctors in the latest sitting of the tribunal, chaired by Abba Hassan.

The tribunal will also decide on the cases brought up against two UK-based doctors by the General Medical Council, the UK’s version of MDCN.

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