A Cape Coast Circuit Court presided over by Mrs Dorinda Smith Arthur has convicted a 67-year-old farmer and his daughter to a fine of GH₵60,000 and GH₵12,000 respectively, for practising medicine without authorization.
The convicts, Samuel Odartei and Alberta Lamiokor, who are residents of Assin-Adadienten in the Assin South District, would by default serve a five year-sentence each for the offence.
Samuel Odartei, who has been practising for 36 years and later with his daughter Alberta Lamiokor, were charged with three counts of conspiracy to commit crime, namely practising medicine without lawful authorization, employing or engaging a non-registered practitioner without lawful authority, and wilfully and falsely using the title doctor without the qualification to practice medicine.
The convicts pleaded not guilty to the charges, but the court found them guilty at the end of the trial.
Prosecutor Chief Inspector Gilbert Ayongo said Mr Bright Atsu Fuglo, an Administrator at the headquarters of the Investigative Unit of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council (GMDC), was the complainant.
He told the court that the Council gathered information about the convicts’ operation at Assin-Adadientem without authority and lodged a formal complaint to the police in Assin-Fosu.
He said on Wednesday, July 26, 2021, the complainant led the police to the facility, where they met Mrs Lamiokor in gloves dressing a patient’s wound whiles other patients waited for their turn.
Mr Fuglo immediately feigned sickness and asked for medical attention at the facility, which Lamiokor obliged to assist, and through interaction with her, Lamiokor said the facility was managed by Odartei who was not immediately available but was a supporting dispensing staff at the facility.
Having gathered the facts on record, Mr Fuglo alerted the accompanying plain-clothed police officers who arrested Lamiokor and took some surgical blades, a daily attendance book, and assorted prescriptive or over-the-counter medicines for evidential purposes.
The Prosecutor said on hearing of the arrest of Lamiokor, Mr Odartei reported himself to the police and was also arrested.
During police interrogation, he contended that his operations at the facility were not flawed with any illegality and claimed he had operated for the past 36 years.
As a defence, he tendered in a set of documents that suggested that he was once a committee member of a primary health volunteer association in the town.
Again, Mr Odartei claimed his operations were known to the Assin South District Health Directorate however he could not produce any documents to confirm his claim and was accordingly charged.