A medical doctor in Enugu, Dr. Godwin Ugbam has been suspended by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for four months following the death of a patient, Alexander Chibueze Owoh who died in his hospital four days after surgery.
The regulating body described as very grave Dr. Ugbam’s misconduct and also banned his hospital, Abram Vineyard Clinic from performing major surgery.
A pediatric, Dr. Ugbam was arraigned on a three-count charge of performing a major surgery of prostatectomy on the deceased, which somehow led to his death. The doctor reportedly managed the patient post-operatively in his clinic, which was said not to have been adequately equipped for post surgery care.
The second charge accused the suspect of admitting the patient and performing the major surgery of prostatectomy and managed the patient post-operatively in his said clinic without referring the patient to a centre, which is recognised and equipped to carry out such major surgery. The third charge accused the doctor of neglecting and/or failing to keep record of his management of the said patient in his said clinic.
The ruling read in part: “That the surgery of prostatectomy was performed without obvious complication and the patient remained clinically stable, that, though, the clinic was three-bedded in a flat with two trained nurses, part-time anesthetist and locum doctor, the manpower is insufficient for adequate postoperative management of a major surgery of prostatectomy.
“That the patient died on the 4th postoperative day, the cause of which appeared to be from a sudden event and that the issue of alleged missing of the case file of the patient is worrisome and the hospital cannot completely absolve itself from blame, as this is a confidential docu for patient care.”
Accordingly, the tribunal held that Dr Godwin “is guilty of infamous misconduct in a professional respect contrary to rule 14.2, 29.4 (g), 41.1 and 44a of the Code of Medical Ethics in Nigeria 2008 edition and punishable under section 16(1)a and 2 of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act Cap M8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The tribunal then suspended the doctor from practice for a period of four months and ordered that henceforth, Abram Vineyard Clinic should cease to perform any major surgery in the clinic.