Berbice association to tackle illegal medical practitioners
Symposium on suicides to be held

Stabroek News
June 15, 2000

The Berbice Medical Association (BMA) plans to "take up the issue of persons practising illegally as doctors and pharmacies issuing drugs without prescriptions," according to the association's secretary, Dr Carl Niamatali.

In a recent interview, Dr Niamatali said the association plans to improve the quality of health care in the region and the professional standard of doctors through short training stints overseas and by working alongside specialists locally. Several international agencies and countries, he said, would be approached for assistance in upgrading the skills of doctors in the region including the UNDP, PAHO, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada.

According to Dr Niamatali the Ministry of Health has been apprised of the association's concerns and plans to upgrade mental care in East Berbice. "It is our intention to continue our public awareness programme to inform and educate the public to demand a better quality of health care. We are encouraging the public to bring their concerns to the BMA, which will address them jointly with the Guyana Medical Association and the Medical Council."

The medical practitioner said the association "wants all laboratories to be examined and certified by the Bureau of Standards."

On the issue of abortions, Dr Niamatali told Stabroek News that the BMA will inform the public of which institutions are certified to conduct abortions and to keep records. According to Dr Niamatali, "it would be difficult for the BMA not to be given the latitude to work with other agencies to ensure that medical practitioners work within the law for the benefit of the public."

Referring to some of the association's plans for the year, he disclosed that it intended to hold medical outreach programmes in areas where no medical services are available, to address health care issues in Berbice and to host a symposium next month on suicides, to address the high incidence in the region. "The BMA," he said, "will co-operate fully with the regional administration and the Ministry of Health to ensure that the public benefit from improved health care."

The association will also meet the hospital administrator in New Amsterdam shortly to discuss some of its concerns and plans. President of the BMA is Dr Ramesh Sugrim, while the vice-president is Dr Kissoon. (Daniel DaCosta)

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