According to Dr Ahmed Hashi Oday, Chairman of the National Health Professionals Commission (NHPC), the government has come to the conclusion that 113 foreign doctors and health professionals practicing in Somaliland were no longer desirable.
Mr. Oday said, among other justifiable reasons, the said professionals either failed to produce credible credentials attesting to their professional capabilities or came up with documents that could neither be accepted as adequate accreditation. The provenance of some of the testimonials produced could not be traced back to plausible sources or authenticated.
Dr. Oday said there were cases, too, that pointed to gross malpractice of the profession.
“We have documented public complaints alleging that ‘partners’ who have brought these ‘doctors’ to Somaliland had an understanding with them whereby they will share proceeds from an operation performed on a set percentage. It did not matter whether the patient required operation or not. To the so-called partners all that mattered was the cash fleeced of the patient or from hapless, distraught relatives,” he said.
“We have not considered the latter at the moment for the expulsion. The absence of credible accreditation and failure to register as stipulated by the Somaliland Health Regulatory Act 19/2001 were alarming enough,” he said.
According to him, ample time was given to the ‘doctors’ to properly register with the Somaliland NHPC.
“Those in the list had utterly failed to do so,” he said. “We are left with no other option”.
Dr Ahmed added that among those in the 113-list were some whose licenses have expired and not eligible for renewal.
Following the announcement, many ‘Landers criticized the move, particularly on social media.
“Local doctors are no better – if not worse in more cases than one,” one of them said.
Another said he took his mother the rounds once. Each practitioner only jotted him more and more drugs on a torn out paper. He has consistently prescribed a bagful each time he visited one, and mother’s health did not improve.
“At long last, I reached a foreign doctor. He saved me more consternation and more holed pockets as my mum slowly recovered,” another said.
One of the more cynical commentators questioned the competence of Dr. Ahmed Oday, himself a veterinarian, to screen physicians and surgeons, dentists, and the like.
Somaliland health facilities, it had been pointed out, time and gain were not shining examples of competence neither were many Somaliland doctors the conscientious health-care providers expected of the profession.
Public health facilities seem to have failed to serve the masses who cannot afford private care. Hence, the proliferation of private clinics and ‘hospitals’ run or staffed by a great number of foreign professionals. A third option was treatment abroad which ta very small number of the population can even think of.