Doctor in tango with Medical Council over refusal of permit to practice

BY: Mabel Aku Baneseh
Dr Richard Abrahamani Seidu
Dr Richard Abrahamani Seidu

A medical doctor, Dr Richard Abrahamani Seidu, is battling the Ghana Medical and Dental Council (GMDC) over what he termed, the refusal by the council to permit him to practise as a surgeon.

According to Dr Seidu, the GMDC, led by its registrar, was making it impossible for him to write the requisite examinations to enable him to practise as a neurosurgeon.

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Recounting his challenges with the council to the Daily Graphic, Dr Seidu claimed he had trained in China as a neurosurgeon for three years and upon his return to Ghana, his disagreement with the GMDC, had resulted in him taking to driving a taxi to make a living.

Petition

Dr Seidu has subsequently petitioned the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to compel the GMDC to allow him to operate as a neurosurgeon.


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In a petition dated November 18, 2018, Dr Seidu said he has since 2015, presented all his certificates to the GMDC but was yet to receive a reply.

He said after waiting in vain to be certified by the GMDC, he travelled to China for a PhD in Neurosurgery.

According to him even though he had paid examination fees, he was yet to be allowed to write the exams or receive a refund of the fees.

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“I have a three years’ teaching experience in the medical school. I have 40 publications in Neurosurgery, Neuroscience as well as cancer, which qualify me as a professor,” he further pointed out.

Dr Seidu is arguing that many organisations were in need of his services but he was currently not in the position to offer them because of the failure by the GMDC to license him.

He particularly accused the registrar of the GMDC of allegedly leading the gang to deny him the right to practice as a neurosurgeon.

Reaction

Describing Dr Seidu’s claims as total falsehood, the Registrar of the GMDC, Dr Eli Kwasi Atikpui, said Dr Seidu did not have the requisite qualifications to practise as a neurosurgeon.

He said it was impossible for him as an individual to prevent Dr Seidu from registering to practise as such.

“It’s not me that makes the council. It’s a 10-member council, including me,” Dr Atikpui said and disclosed that the Credentials Committee of the GMDC looked at all reviews qualifications from outside before permitting applicants to practise.

He said in the case of Dr Seidu, he completed the University of Ghana Medical School and did one-year housemanship instead of two years, with some difficulty.

The Registrar disclosed that the records showed Dr Seidu left his duty post after a year and returned after three years claiming to have trained as a neurosurgeon.

“Upon his return, he wanted the council to recognise him as a neurosurgeon. He submitted a qualification he obtained from a university in China and requested to be registered as a neurosurgeon but after reviewing the duration of the training and course content, we realised he did not meet the criteria for neurosurgeons,” Dr Atikpui added.

Inadequate training

Dr Atikpui further explained that after reviewing the course content and comparing it to what happened in Ghana and other established institutions, the council realised Dr Seidu’s training in neurosurgery was “completely inadequate.”

He said Dr Seidu should have, for instance, trained for at least six years to be able to qualify as a neurosurgeon but in this particular case he trained for three years.

Dr Atikpui told the Daily Graphic that the council’s decision was communicated to Dr Seidu and he was accordingly informed of the available options if only he wanted to practise as a medical doctor.

Either he goes back to complete his house officer job or write the council’s registration examinations to practise as a general duty doctor.

“We cannot admit him to write exams as a specialist. Neurosurgery is a serious profession, which requires practitioners to operate on patients’ brains and spine.

“We owe a duty to Ghanaians and other foreigners who seek medical care in Ghana to ensure the best form of standards were adhered to at all material times,” Dr Atikpui stated.

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