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Senate to amend 28 year-old Medical and Dental Practitioners law

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Senate to amend 28 year-old Medical and Dental Practitioners law


L-R: Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Member, Senate Committee on Communications and Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) during the committee’s screening of Danbatta for his reappointment as EVC of NCC at the National Assembly.

Senate has began the process of amending the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act which was last amended 28 years ago, with the introduction of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Bill 2020, presently before it.

The bill, which scaled second reading on the floor of the upper legislative chamber, seeks to review the legal framework for the regulation of Medicine and Dentistry in the country.

Presenting the bill, Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC Kwara Central), recalled that the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act M8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, was enacted in the military administration in 1998.

According to the lawmaker, since 1998 the Act was amended by the same military administration in 1991 and 1992.

“The regulation of Physicians and Dental Surgeons in Nigeria historically preceded indigenous statutory provisions for such functions.

“The regulation started from pre-colonial administration (1472 to 1789). This was followed by the establishment of the West African Medical Service which originated from the Royal West African Frontier Force, WAFF 1902.

Senate to amend 28 year-old Medical and Dental Practitioners law

“The actual regulation of the conduct of medical and dental practitioners started in Nigerian with the establishment of the Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Board in the Colonial Department of Health for the medical personnel whose names were on the register of the General Medical Council in England.

“The Director or Medical Services, was its Chairman. This was the position of statutory regulation of the professions of medicine and dentistry until independence in 1960.

“Indeed, indigenous statutory provisions came into being through the efforts of the first Nigerian Inspector of Medical Services, Sir Samuel Manuwa which culminated in the promulgation by the Federal Parliament of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act which became operational from 18 December 1963.

“This law established the Nigerian Medical Council, the first regulatory body for Medicine and Dentistry in Nigeria. The Nigerian Medical Council was succeeded by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, a statutory creations of the Military Decree No 23 of 1988, now Cap M8 LFN 2004.

“Since 1992, precisely 28 years ago, when it was amended, several attempts were made by the stakeholders to review the legal framework but non of the attempts have succeeded,” Oloriegbe said.

The bill after consideration was referred by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who presided over the plenary, to the Committee on Health for further legislative work and submit its report within four weeks.

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