Investigations by the Medical and Dental Council (MDC) have led to the arrest of 20 quack doctors across the country since January, 2016.
Ten of such fake doctors were busted in Accra, two at Tema, two in the Volta Region, two in the Eastern Region, one in the Brong Ahafo Region and three in the Central Region.
At a press conference in Accra on Monday, the Registrar of the MDC, Dr Eli Kwasi Atikpui, said through the combined efforts of the MDC and the police, five of such cases had ended up in court with the culprits receiving various jail terms.
“The rest are in court or at various stages of investigations. Since the council does not prosecute, the cases are with the rightful authorities while the MDC assists with investigations,’’ he said.
On how to deal with the issue, Dr Atikpui said from January 2018, all registered doctors, physician assistants, certified anaesthetists and other medical professionals regulated by the MDC would be assigned a practitioner’s stamp to show proof of their certification.
“The stamp will have specific features such as the practitioner’s name, number and other unique features.
We will also insist that any medical practitioner registered by the MDC will have to work with their name tags. This is to ensure that people who are not comfortable with the work of the practitioners can lodge a complaint with the MDC without any difficulty,’’ he said.
Fake doctor jailed
Meanwhile, a fake doctor who plies his trade at Hohoe in the Volta Region has been jailed 17 years by the Hohoe Circuit Court.
Fortune Kamasa was sentenced to a 10-year jail term and a fine of GH¢12,000 on the charge of practising medicine without a licence by the court presided over by Mr Yao Acheampong.
In default of paying the fine, the court ordered him to serve an additional five- year jail term.
Kamasa was also found guilty of receiving payment for the practice of medicine without authority and was ordered to refund the money he took from officials of the MDC as medical consultation fees.
Failure to pay the money he collected from MDC officials, the court ruled, would land Kamasa another two-year jail term.
The MDC officials posed as patients and visited Kamasa’s health centre to conduct investigations into his activities.
However, Kamasa failed to pay the money to the officials and the fine imposed by the court and as such will serve the full 17–year jail term.
Under the Health Professions Regulatory Bodies Act 2013, Act 857, the punishment for practising medicine without licence is a minimum fine of not less than GH¢12, 000 and not more than Gh¢120,000 or an imprisonment term of not more than 20 years or both.
Passing sentence, Mr Acheampong held that he took into consideration the fact that Kamasa was arrested and punished for the same offences in 2013 but afterwards went back to his illegal ways to the detriment of public safety.
Kamasa, according to the prosecution, was first arrested on July 18, 2013 for parading himself as a medical doctor at the St Joseph’s Hospital at Hohoe. He was found guilty and sanctioned accordingly.
According to the prosecution, the quack doctor did not learn his lessons and went back to his old ways, this time around, changing the name of his facility to Family Community Hospital.
The prosecution said on September 26, 2017, the MDC got information of Kamasa’s illegal activities and dispatched a team of officials to investigate the claims.
The investigators posed as patients and visited the hospital where Kamasa introduced himself as a doctor and attempted to administer some injections and drips on them but the investigators turned them down.
They later reported the matter to the Hohoe Divisional Police Headquarters and Kamasa was arrested.
During investigations, it was revealed that Kamasa had no medical training or whatsoever but he previously worked with a medical doctor who had passed away.
The investigations also revealed that Kamasa’s son who also had no training was working as a laboratory technician at the facility.
He has also been arrested and is currently facing the law.