Doctors oppose changes to Medical Board Act

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A doctor. – File photo

DOCTORS resisting proposed amendments to the Medical Board Act have formed an informal body to make representation to the board’s council.

A press release on June 18, signed by executive members of the Doctors Ethics and Autonomy Lobby (DEAL) – Dr David Strisiver, Dr Johnny Siu Chong and Dr Rajiv Seereeram – said doctors were “strenuously objecting” to the proposed amendments to the act, which, they said, the Medical Board’s (MBTT) executive council had sanctioned and submitted for debate by Parliament.

“Our concerns are set out in our letters sent to the various statutory organisations under the act who are current members of the council, and these include the Law Association, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Inter-Religious Organisation, UWI and Chief Medical Officer.”

The group also said it has submitted its concerns to stakeholders, including the chambers of commerce and the trade-union movement.

“DEAL maintains that the proposed amendments to the act were prematurely sanctioned by the council without adequate and effective consultation or approval by the general membership of the Medical Board.

“DEAL insists that the proposed amendments are draconian and inimical to the best interest of the medical profession, to the integrity and independence of the board, to the rights of patients and the health and well-being of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”

The lobby called on MBTT’s council to “make every effort to candidly inform the membership about the full nature and impact of these legislative changes and to seek adequate consultation and approval from all members.”

They said they had also requested a special general meeting to highlight the legislative changes and to facilitate discussion and feedback from the membership of the MBTT. The meeting is expected to be held on June 25.

The lobby has retained attorneys Dave Persad and Anthony Manwah as its legal advisers.