The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has noted the worrisome trends of illegal activities of the Registrar and agents of the Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria (RRBN), harassing Medical Practitioners especially specialists who practice the branch of Medicine known as Radiology under the guise of performing functions which the law does not permit him or the Board to do. These activities include but not limited to
a. Demanding to inspect Doctors practices;
b. Harassing Doctors to register their practice with the Board
c. Sealing Doctors’ practices.
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) hereby condemns in strong terms these illegal activities. For public enlightenment, we wish to state as follows:
1. Medical practitioners who practice medicine in Radiodiagnostic centres and departments as Radiologists are permitted to do so by their registration under the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act Cap M8 LFN 2010. They do not need any further authorization by any other professional regulatory body.
2. The Radiodiagnostic centres where Radiologists practice medicine, are either parts of hospitals or stand-alone and are registered by States Ministries of Health under laws made pursuant to the provisions of the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) amply recognized by section 12 subsection 2 of the National Health Act 2014.
3. The Radiographers Registration Board of Nigeria is established by section 1 of the Radiographers (Registration etc.) Act Cap R1 LFN 2010 for the control of the practice of Radiography NOT Radiology. While related, radiography and radiology are distinct. The distinction is defined by the provisions of section 28 of the Radiographers (Registration etc.) Act. It is preposterous for the Registrar of the Board to carry on as if he or the Board has power to regulate medical practitioners or ANY aspect of their practice.
4. Radiography is what radiographers do, persons who are not qualified to be registered as medical practitioners. It is the art and science of the application of various forms of radiant energies on human beings to promote health, treat diseases and produce various diagnostic images when indicated by a medical practitioner or a dental surgeon. Radiology is practiced by medical practitioners who are specialist Radiologists. These are persons who having been fully registered to practice Medicine in Nigeria pursuant to sections 9,12,11, 8 and 18 of the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act, have acquired further knowledge and skills in the specialized branch of Medicine called Radiology.
5. Radiologists are MEDICAL DOCTORS who have gone further to specialise in an aspect of Medicine that uses various medical imaging modalities/techniques in diagnosing and treatment of diseases/injuries. The post-graduate Medical Doctor who specialises in Radiology is known as a Consultant Radiologist,
6. The Board established by the Radiographers (Registration etc.) Act by provisions of section 2 subsection 1 paragraph (d), includes a Radiologist to represent the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. This is to ensure that Radiologists have a say in the regulation of the practice of radiography. We are aware that the Board was dissolved on 16 July 2015 by the Order of the President Muhammadu Buhari. We are aware that the Board is yet to be reconstituted. The Registrar of the Board depending on his opinions, whims and caprices to make regulations based on which he carries out activities like extorting money from radiodiagnostic centres and other hepless persons and entities is illegal and criminal. He even claimed to have sealed some hospitals!
7. We are aware that some personnel of the Police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps are co-opted (likely without the knowledge of the leadership) by the Registrar of the Board in his illegal activities. The Nigerian Medical Association is by this Notice calling the attention of the Inspector General of Nigerian Police Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris and the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp, Mr. Abdullahi Gana, to the use of their personnel in this pursuit of illegality.
8. We also call on the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC, to investigate and possibly prosecute the Registrar of the Radiographers’ Registration Board for wilfully abusing his office to advance personal and group interest at the expense of public peace and safety.
NMA and the Association of Radiologists in Nigeria (ARN) shall take all necessary measures to stop these irresponsible and criminal activities of the RRBN.
Dr. Mike O Ogirima (Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery)
Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu
NMA Secretary General
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