No fewer than 48 Nigerian-trained nurses and midwives in the United Kingdom are under investigation for examination fraud in the United Kingdom.
According to DailyMail, the nurses and midwives allegedly paid to take computer-based exams that test medical knowledge and is needed to work in Britain.
The investigation was launched after the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) was alerted of “anomalous data.”
Their findings showed that there was “widespread fraudulent activity” at the Yunnik Technologies Test Centre in Ibadan, South West Nigeria.
The NMC ruled all test results issued by the centre invalid.
The NMC said these individuals will have their cases assessed by an independent panel to determine if they did indeed commit fraud.
If the panel determines that they did, they would be removed from the register and lose the right to work as nurses or midwives in the UK.
The report added that during the investigation, the suspects would still be allowed to work in the UK.
This has raised concerns among some experts who argue that the NMC should suspend the nurses and midwives until their cases have been resolved.
Speaking about the discovery, Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NMC, expressed sympathy for those innocent applicants caught up in the fraud scandal.
She added that NMC’s priority remains to protect the public.
“We understand this continues to be a distressing time for people facing uncertainty about their application or place on our register.
“We’re committed to managing these concerns in the safest and fairest way we can.
“It’s been essential to look carefully at all the data and other information presented to us before deciding on the right and proportionate approach for everyone.
“Our paramount concern remains to protect the public by maintaining the integrity of the register for nursing and midwifery professionals practising in the UK,” Sutcliffe said.
The report further said an additional 669 nurses and midwives who are in the process of applying to work in the UK but have not started employment, “are also believed to have obtained their results fraudulently.”
The NMC said these individuals will need to sit for new tests and will also have to pass a character assessment process.
It added that another 771 Nigerian applicants cleared of fraud and dishonesty will also have to resit the exams because all results at the centre have been deemed invalid.