Medical Council requests overhaul of “defective” Medical Practitioners Act, Code of Conduct

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A delegation from the Medical Council of Guyana (MCG) has requested a complete overhaul of the Medical Practitioners Act 1991 and the Code of Conduct and Standards of Practice Regulations 2008, citing concerns that the “defective” legislation impedes the disciplinary actions.

The delegation, led by its Chairman, Dr Navindranuth Rambaran; Legal Advisor, attorney-at-law, Kamal Ramkarran; Secretary, Juanita Johnson, met with the Attorney-General (AG) and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall and the Senior Drafting Consultant in the Attorney General’s Chambers, Mrs Ananda Dhurjon, to air their concerns.

Chief among the issues outlined is that both the Act and Regulation are “defective” in many aspects, including major inconsistencies between the Act and Regulations leading to the Regulations being ultra vires not to mention the Act is outdated, a release from the AG’s Chambers noted.

However, the main bone of contention, the delegation stated was that Act and Regulation make it difficult for the Council to take proper disciplinary actions against Medical Practitioners who may be guilty of professional misconduct and malpractice.

According to the release, the AG, in response, acknowledged the deficiencies and pointed to his personal experience where alleged malpractice complaints were lodged but they went nowhere due to the said deficiencies.

He pointed out that over the past six years, several claims have been filed in the courts for medical negligence and while some were in the system, others were settled with the State having to pay millions of dollars.

Further, the AG lamented the many reports in the media alleging medical negligence, resulting in the loss of life, without anyone being held culpable.

Nandlall reiterated the government’s commitment to modernise the entire legal legislative infrastructure, including the Health sector and expressed willingness to work with every stakeholder organisation in pursuit of this mandate.

An arrangement was made for the Medical Council of Guyana and the Drafting Department of the Ministry of Legal Affairs to collaborate in establishing a draft Bill, which will be circulated for consultation with all stakeholders.

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