Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Health Ministry says training not mandatory for medical practitioners to prescribe ganja

Published:Sunday | November 12, 2017 | 5:36 PM

The Health Ministry says it's not mandatory for medical practitioners to be trained in prescribing medical ganja.

The declaration comes as stakeholders in the fledgling ganja industry express their disapproval over a decision to hire a private firm owned by an official of the Ministry to train medical practitioners to prescribe medical ganja.

But the Health Ministry said this afternoon the controversy surrounding the issue is due to a misunderstanding.

It said training courses recently conducted were undertaken independently by the private firm and were not done under the jurisdiction of the Ministry.

According to the Health Ministry, "there is no requirement under the law requiring medical practitioners to undertake any training and or certification in order to prescribe ganja for medical or therapeutic purposes."

However, the Health Ministry said it endorsed such training for medical practitioners.

"Such training is desirable and recommended in light of the fact that this is a new area of practice for medical and health professionals, as well as in order to ensure that the prescribing of medical marijuana is done in keeping with relevant medical and public health standards," the ministry explained in a release issued to offer clarity on the issue.

Further, it said such training should be guided by the continuing education curriculum administered by the Medical Council of Jamaica.

In the meantime, the Health Ministry said it was now focused on developing the relevant policy guidelines in relation to the prescription of medical ganja and the accompanying regulations, which it is mandated to do under the Act.