Health Facilities Regulatory Agency advocates stiffer punishment for fake doctors

By Nathaniel Nartey

The Health Facilities Regulatory Agency, HEFRA, has raised concerns over the reluctance of the State to prosecute individuals who operate health facilities without proper license.

This follows the arrest of 23 unregistered, quack medical Practitioners last year in a joint operation between the Medical and Dental Council and the Ghana Police Service. Registrar of HEFRA, Dr. Phillip Banor expressed frustration at the situation where the police make arrests of persons operating illegal health facilities, hand them over for prosecution but they end up going scot-free.

He told Nathaniel Nartey that the situation emboldens perpetrators to continue with such illegal activities, making the work of HEFRA more difficult.

”There are so many facilities out there, far more that are unregistered than there are registered. We have arrested some of them and they are pending in the Courts. I am frustrated as many are, when you arrest and try to push for prosecution, it doesn’t seem to be moving and some have been pending for years and they go back doing the wrong thing. So unless that part of it works; arrest, prosecution and fines, there is no deterrent in the system. I have written letters upon letters to the Attorney General’s Office, the CID but nothing, and that is the part that must work”.

Dr. Banor said HEFRA is overwhelmed in its monitoring obligations as it lacks resources for effective work. Despite this, Dr. Banor said HEFRA will continue to do its work regardless.
”We monitor about 5,000 to 6, 000 facilities and in the whole Northern zone where there are 5 regions we have only one office in Tamale and that office just opened and that is to give an idea of the situation but we are still working”, he noted.

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