The Cross River Private Hospital Regulatory Board, has raised an alarm over the high rate of medical quackery in the state.
Chairman of the board, Dr Norbert Mogar, made this known in an interview in Calabar on Sunday.
Medical quackery is synonymous with health fraud, as it is the promotion of fraudulent or ignorant medical practises by non-doctors and unqualified personnel.
Mogar described the situation as worrisome, shortly after he had inspected some private medical facilities in the state.
According to him, more than 80 of the hospitals visited were operated by quacks, while 50 of them were yet to be registered with the state’s Ministry of Health.
He added that 70 of them were equally not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
The board chairman further said that operators of the facilities claimed that they did not know how to go about the registering the health facilities with the relevant authorities.
“In the course of our inspection, we found out that more than 80 of the hospitals visited were operated by quacks and unqualified personnel.
“Also, 50 of the facilities were yet to be registered with the state’s Ministry of Health, while 70 of them were equally not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
“It was also sad to realise that most of the quacks operate as mobile doctors, conducting tests and performing surgeries on patients in their respective homes and visiting them for continuity of care.
“From the statistics gathered, it was very clear that a significant percentage of the private facilities have been operating illegally.
“They thus constitute a great danger to the health status of the state,” he warned.
Mogar further warned that the state could lose substantial revenue by allowing private health facilities not duly registered and certified by the appropriate authorities to operate in the state.
He said that on March 25, some medical facilities in Yala and Obudu Local Government Areas of the state were shut down owing to medical quackery.
He attributed the development to the commitment and dedication of the state’s Ministry of Health, the board, the Nigerian Medical Association, and the Primary Healthcare Coordinators in the affected areas.
The board chairman appealed to the state government to provide the private hospital regulatory board with at least two operational vehicles to enable it to succeed in the war against quackery in the state.
According to him, timely disbursement of imprest to the regulatory board will go a long way toward enabling it to carry out its mandate effectively.
He called all those involved in medical quackery in some hide-outs to shun the practise as it was capable of endangering the lives of the people.