The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has thrown its weight behind the refusal of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to accept online medical degrees presented by graduates from countries where medical education has been disrupted.
This was contained in a statement signed by NMA President and Secretary-General, Dr Uche Ojinmah, and Dr Jide Onyekwelu, respectively, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.
According to the leadership of the NMA, medicine and dentistry must be learnt through physical hands-on tutoring, rather than online or internet tutorials which medical and dental students from certain countries, especially Ukraine, currently suffering from the effects of war.
The statement partly read: “The Association is the custodian of the health of the Nigerian populace. The Nigerian Medical Association places great premium on the qualifications of persons who are admitted into the Medical and Dental professions in Nigeria.
“We insist that the statutory provisions on the qualifications of persons who seek to be registered to practise Medicine or Dentistry in our country as provided by the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act must be strictly adhered to.
“The Nigerian Medical Association wishes to commend the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (the Council) for its recent efforts at protecting the health of Nigerians by ensuring that persons who seek to practise Medicine or Dentistry in Nigeria comply with its regulations on acceptable qualifications.
“We refer to the recent notice on graduates from certain countries where medical education has been disrupted due to war and the displacement occasioned by it.
“The reported resort to virtual tutelage over the internet is not acceptable anywhere in the world. Medicine and Dentistry are both science and art which require mastery of a very large body of information on one hand and hands-on skills on the other.
“The two professions are learnt through apprenticeship and require physical hands-on tutoring which are extremely difficult to effectively impart over the internet.
“The Nigerian Medical Association stands with the Council and urges it to stand firm and stay the course in its bid to sanitize our professions. We shall oppose any attempt by any persons to impede the Council in carrying out its regulatory activities,” NMA stated.