The Health Records Officers Registration Board of Nigeria has warned hospitals and other health establishments to stop hiring unlicensed records officers as those found culpable will be handed over to law enforcement agencies.
The Registrar of the board, Alhaji Mohammed Mami, said this shortly after constituting some committees to ensure compliance with the Health Records Officers Act.
Mami lamented that many of the record officers in various hospitals in the country were quacks and didn’t know how to manage patients’ medical data.
He said, “Sections 12 and 24 of the Health Records Officers Act make it clear that any person or institution that is engaging unlicensed persons can be prosecuted and, if found guilty, will face the consequences.
“The committee will investigate and if it finds that a person who is not licensed is practising as a records officer, both the personnel and the institution that engages that person will be investigated by the panel and, if found guilty, both will be sanctioned by the disciplinary committee.”
The registrar announced that the investigative committee would be headed by Mr. E.O Ufot while the professional disciplinary committee would be headed by Mr. I.O Akolo.
Mami said members who were registered but failed to renew their licences might have their licences withdrawn and might be prosecuted.
He revealed that 3,720 persons sat for the professional examination of the board in July, out of which 3, 180 passed while 38 failed. He said eight were banned due to examination malpractice.
The registrar warned that, henceforth, “cases of examination malpractice will be reported to law enforcement agencies for investigation and prosecution.”
Also, the National Secretary, Association of Health Records Practitioners of Nigeria, Wada Aliyu, said one of the ethics of health records practice was to ensure that medical records of patients remain confidential.
He said the health sector had the problem of gathering data on diseases and other health issues because health records were not being handled by professionals.
Aliyu added, “The reason for this is due to the fact that people that are qualified and licensed to carry out this practice are not engaged in most of these facilities. If you check most of these tertiary institutions and go to their records department, you will be surprised to find out that less than 50 per cent of the records officers are qualified or licensed.”
The Punch News