The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), says it only recognises fellowship certificates obtained by Nigerian doctors to be classified as specialists.
The Registrar, MDCN, Dr Tajudeen Sanusi, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja in response to the quest by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to recognise the membership certificate from the awarding institutions.
The association had as part of its demands in several communiques and correspondences to the Federal Government requested for the reversal of the alleged downgrading of the membership certificate by MDCN.
The certificates are obtained from the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria (NPMCN), the West African College of Physicians (WACP) and West African College of Surgeons (WACS) as part of the training to become medical doctors in Nigeria.
However, Sanusi said that the fellowship certificate is what is recognised in Nigeria and not the membership certificate.
“Membership was because of some classification from some West African countries because they lack specialists, so membership is not our standard in Nigeria.
“They (NARD) cannot just wake up one day and be telling us what to do, so in Nigeria, what we recognise is the fellowship for you to be recognised as a specialist and not the membership.
“That is why NPMCN says no, we cannot water down the value of what we have in Nigeria,” he said.
Explaining further, he said, “All along it has always been a fellowship but because of the lack of experts in some other West African countries, they now felt that if they gave them membership, they could get some appointments.
“However, with membership, you have not finished your programme, it is not a terminal thing, but because of lack of expertise, that was why and because they were more in number than Nigerians, especially the francophone countries, so it is not our own invention.
“Nigeria had to concede to them to be able to do what they want to do but that does not mean that they should water down our own value.
“The implication of that membership they are talking about is that in future we will lack trainers as we will not have people that will be training other people again.”