A medical practitioner and owner of Empire Medical Centre, Mr. Onumoh Eleazar, has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly operating on some residents of Lagos State without a certificate or licence.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Eleazar, whose facility is on Soyebo Street, Ikorodu, had been practising for sometime before officials of the Lagos Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency stormed the area.
The officials were said to have found four patients awaiting surgeries at the hospital. Three others were said to have been operated on by the suspect.
All the patients were subsequently taken to the Ikorodu General Hospital, while the centre was shut.
The Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Health, Adeola Salako, who confirmed the incident, said the suspect claimed to have studied medicine in the Dominican Republic.
She added that when asked to produce his certificate, he claimed he had yet to get it due to financial constraints.
She said, “Mr. Onumoh Eleazer claimed that he studied Medicine in the Dominican Republic, but that he didn’t have the money to collect his certificate. He, however, confessed that one Dr Godwin Kanu, a retired consultant traumatologist and orthopaedist, trained him for 14 years after his return to the country and since then, he had been practising medicine.”
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr Olufemi Onanuga, said Eleazar was arrested for offences bordering on quackery, adding that he had been handed over to the police for prosecution.
He explained that the ministry of health had received reports of quackery about the facility from residents, saying investigations indicated that the “suspect performed surgical procedures on innocent and unsuspecting patients without a certificate and licence.”
He noted that all the patients found on the centre’s premises had been transferred to the Ikorodu General Hospital for proper management.
The state Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, said the closure of the facility was coming on the heels of a monitoring exercise carried out by HEFAMAA to regulate and sanitise the operations of health facilities in the state.
He said, “Mr. Onumoh Eleazer will be punished according to the laws of the land. Other quacks in the health sector, if they fail to desist from their harmful practice, will also face the full wrath of the law.
“This ugly trend has now degenerated into a point where some so-called trained auxiliary nurses and unqualified assistants go out and establish their own outfits, claiming to be professionals and in turn breed other quacks. This can lead to a long chain of terrible consequences for the health sector if not decisively addressed.
“The Lagos State Government is determined to put a halt to this ugly trend of having unqualified personnel work in health facilities.
“As a government, we will continue to ensure that the environment for the dispensation of medical care is suitable for the promotion and maintenance of good health.”