By Ene Asuquo
In its efforts to rid the State of quacks,
the Cross River Government Health Inspection Task Force has arrested one Mr Philips and five other conspirators who were allegedly involved in fake surgeries on eleven patients.
The task force inaugurated on September, 2020, under the watch of the then Commissioner for Health, Dr Beta Edu, was mandated, among others things, to deliver to Cross Riverians and all residents of Cross River State a healthcare delivery system that is free from interruption and other exigencies that are usually brought by quacks who invade the profession and offer dangerous services.
Dr David Ushie who is a consultant pathologist of University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, and also the taskforce Chairman, in a briefing with the Newsmen in Calabar, said the suspects had been handed over to the police.
He said the arrest was part of its drive to rid the state of quack Medical practitioners so as to restore sanity and regain the public confidence in the medical profession in the state.
The taskforce Chairman revealed that since inauguration, the taskforce has responded to 22 reports from communities and has made 7 arrest among violators, also shut down 13 health facilities across the 18 local government areas.
He narrated the situation of an incident that happened on the 7th of September, in Aladim community of Ogoja local government of the state, where a team of wonder surgeons coordinated surgeries on anybody who complained of any form of illness.
“The following discoveries came up: ten patients were on admission in a government health centre, Aladim. Of this ten patients, nine of them had 11 surgeries, amongst the nine who had the surgeries, three patients had 4 ‘surgeries’ and these include hernia and appendectomy repairs. One patient had 2 surgeries for appendix and hernia, at least five out of all eleven surgeries were clearly recognizable as fake surgeries done by simply cutting the skin, making the patient sleep and then simply wakes up to see what looks like a surgery wound.”
“The six persons arrested include, one Mr Philips who carried out surgeries on the nine patients, Mr Sunny whose job in the team was to conduct ultrasound scan using a hospital name located in Okuku called “Life First”. This Life First clinical facility is owned by one Dr Austin Adugba. Dr Adugba who is the employer of Mr Philips and Mr Sunny was the one who introduced them to other conspirators in this case.”
“Others who facilitated the activities of the above three are Mrs Janet Bisong, the incharge of the facility in question, the local government coordinator Mrs Elizabeth Bullem and Chief Sunny, a clan head of the said Aladim community who initiated the meeting and participated in the initial agreement which took place in the facility.”
“From above skimming, the proceeds are shared between Dr Adugba’s team, the LG coordinator and the clan head of the community”, Dr Ushie divulged.
He added that the taskforce have trailed and are still trailing certified medical professionals who are engaged in the recruitment of quacks as well as involvement in sundry unprofessional activities that hurt the people of the state.
The taskforce Chairman solicited for support and participation from all good citizens of Cross River in the resolve to the increasing pace of quackery affecting the medical profession and the citizens at large and promised never to allow the activities of quacks to undermine the benefits that the healthcare reform under Governor Ayade administration is bringing to the people.