The Cameroon Medical Council (CMC) is raising concerns about the risks associated with medical campaigns conducted by foreign teams in the country. CMC President Dr. Rodolphe Fonkoua has cited multiple shortcomings with these missions, potentially jeopardizing patient safety and hindering medical development.
The CMC's main grievances include unvetted personnel, substandard facilities, limited collaboration, and accountability gaps. The council raises doubts about the qualifications, administrative status, expertise, and experience of some members of these foreign teams. It also indicates the technical equipment and infrastructure used by the teams may be inadequate compared to their regular practice settings, sparking concerns about quality of care. In addition, insufficient coordination with local medical teams is observed, hampering knowledge transfer and hindering post-intervention follow-up for patients. Furthermore, difficulties in identifying responsible parties for administrative, civil, penal, or ethical issues in case of medical incidents raise concerns about accountability.
In response, the CMC is advocating for stricter regulations and oversight. Dr. Fonkoua called for establishing "procedures for inviting or receiving foreign medical missions (...) in compliance with legal provisions." He further warns that operating outside these procedures could be considered "the illegal practice of medicine."