Recent statistics released by the UK General Medical Council give Nigeria-trained doctors practising in the United Kingdom a terrible reputation.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Request by a British tabloid, the Daily Mail, reveal that three-quarters of the doctors struck off the General Medical Council (GMC) register in the past years are foreign-trained and that those trained in Nigeria rank second on the list of those removed from the professional register of the GMC .
According to the figures published in the Mail article of yesterday, India-trained doctors top the list of foreign-trained doctors to be struck off the GMC register in the past five years and Nigeria-trained doctors have the record of being second.
Egypt-trained doctors occupy the third spot. The paper revealed further that “194 of the 285 doctors struck off for misconduct or incompetence in the past five years were foreign-trained, while 29 of the 39 removed from the medical register in the past year received their medical degree overseas.”
Continuing, the paper disclosed that “with only one-third of the 250,000 doctors on the medical register trained outside the United Kingdom, this means that those from overseas were more than five times likely than British doctors to be banned.”
Quoting the data it obtained under the Freedom of Information Request – the equivalent of Nigeria’s Freedom of Information Act – the Mail revealed that “India has the largest number of doctors struck off in Britain since 2008, followed by Nigeria and Egypt.”
This is in sharp contrast to Hong Kong, which has the best record, “with none of more than 700 doctors working here – in the UK – struck off or disciplined in the past five years. New Zealand’s 600 medics also have a clean record.”
According to Julia Manning, the chief executive of the 2020 Health think-tank, “these figures are really worrying and shocking, we need to take a hard look at the assessment of all doctors coming into the country.”
In July 2010, a Nigerian, Dr Jerome Ikwueke was suspended for 18 months because he failed to spot that a 17 month old boy was being abused. Dr Ikwueke, who was suspended in the wake of the little boy’s death, said he made a ‘serious error of judgment’ in the case of Peter Connelly, who died in one of the worst cases of abuse ever seen in the UK.
Based on the statistics, Dr Vivienne Nathanson, of the British Medical Association, said: “It is clear that doctors who have qualified overseas are more likely to be subject to disciplinary action. However, more research is needed to understand why this is the case.