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Big jump for medical fines

Albert Brandford

Big jump for medical fines

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Steep increases in fines, up from $2 000 nearly 40 years ago to $25 000, are in the offing for offences under a proposed new Medical?Profession?Act which will be debated when the House of Assembly meets today at 10 a.m. following the Christmas recess.
The state of the practice of medicine in Barbados is expected to come under close scrutiny during the sitting, more particularly the raging controversy over the suspension last?December 10 and then reinstatement last?Thursday of leading cardiologist Dr Richard Ishmael from the Queen Elizabeth?Hospital (QEH) for using a hospital letterhead last November 17 to address a concern involving Dr Alfred Sparman and Minister of Health Donville Inniss, which is now the subject of threatened litigation among them.
The voluminous 73-page draft bill, which will repeal the November 1972 Medical?Registration?Act, principally provides for the establishment of the Barbados Medical Council, a 13-member body – seven of whom shall be appointed by the Minister of Health.
Notice of the Bill, which will be piloted by?Inniss, was given last October.
It also provides for the registration of medical practitioners; the regulation of the conduct and discipline of medical practitioners; the prescription of qualifications, approval of standards and requirement for continual education and training; and the regulation of advertising by medical practitioners.
The Bill provides a fine of $25 000 or two years’ jail or both for anyone who wilfully procures or attempts to procure registration for himself or for any other person; and makes or produces or causes to be made or produced any fraudulent representation or declaration, either verbally, in writing or otherwise.
A similar fate awaits anyone who, not being a medical practitioner or specialist uses any name, title, addition or other description implying or calculated to imply that he is a registered medical practitioner; advertises or holds himself out to be a person authorised or qualified to practise; or engages in the practice of medicine. (AB)