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Medical Council fails to safeguard patients, leaving them vulnerable

Uganda is currently grappling with a distressing phenomenon in its private medical sector that demands immediate attention.

Desperate individuals plagued by medical ailments, including gallstones and hernias, are falling prey to unscrupulous medical practitioners who exploit their vulnerability and trust.

This deeply concerning situation highlights a significant failure on the part of the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC), an organization established precisely to protect society from such abuses.

The primary responsibility of the UMDPC is to oversee, supervise and enforce medical and dental standards, as well as professional ethics.

The council is entrusted with the crucial task of safeguarding society against the misuse of medical and dental care, as well as unethical research involving human subjects. Regrettably, recent incidents have demonstrated a clear dereliction of duty on the council’s part, resulting in devastating consequences for innocent patients.

Unethical medical practitioners operating within private practices have been deceiving their patients by offering false assurances of advanced medical procedures such as laparoscopy, capitalizing on their desperation for relief from their medical conditions.

In their vulnerable state, the victims, often lacking right information, succumb to the persuasive tactics of these doctors and consent to surgeries without a proper understanding of the associated risks.

The repercussions of such gross negligence have been nothing short of tragic. Patients have emerged from these surgeries with punctured organs, such as livers and spleens, exacerbating their pain and causing further harm.

To compound matters, these same doctors who committed these grave errors have shamelessly demanded exorbitant sums of money for remedial surgeries. While some of these corrective interventions have been successful, others have tragically resulted in fatal outcomes, leaving families devastated and society in a state of shock.

The qualifications and experience of these doctors who perform such delicate medical procedures must be called into question. It remains unclear whether they possess the necessary expertise and training to carry out these interventions safely and effectively.

The alarming situation necessitates immediate action. The UMDPC must fulfill its mandate by rigorously monitoring and enforcing ethical standards, ensuring that patients are protected from the exploitative practices of unscrupulous doctors.

A thorough review of licensing procedures and qualification requirements is urgently needed to ascertain the competence and suitability of practitioners entrusted with performing delicate procedures on unsuspecting patients.

To restore public trust and rectify this deeply concerning situation, the UMDPC must strengthen monitoring and supervision mechanisms, ensuring that qualifications and competence are rigorously evaluated. To identify and remove unethical practitioners from the profession, the council must implement inspections of private practices and impose severe penalties for misconduct.

The council must launch comprehensive public awareness campaigns to educate Ugandans about their rights as patients and the importance of seeking medical care from licensed and reputable professionals.

By empowering individuals with knowledge and awareness, the UMDPC can help prevent desperate patients from falling victim to the false promises and manipulations of unscrupulous practitioners.

The lives and well-being of innocent individuals should never be compromised, and it is the council’s paramount responsibility to ensure that medical standards, ethics, and the sanctity of human life are upheld within the medical profession.

The UMDPC must be held accountable for its failures, and swift measures must be taken to address the distressing state of private medical practices in Uganda.

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