Tendai Franklyn-Brown, Staff Reporter
Dr Muriel Lowe, registrar of the Medical Council of Jamaica, says unlicensed doctors using fraudulent registration numbers pose an imminent threat to public safety.
Earlier this week, the council published notices advising the public of the names of three medical practitioners who are not licensed in Jamaica.
"The reason we have a practising certificate, is that you have to do continuing medical education to keep yourself up to date and it is renewable every year," Lowe told The Gleaner
"Now, some of these people have qualified years ago somewhere else, they haven't kept up to date and are practising antique medicine of sorts, so they are not legally registered to practise," she said.
Lowe acknowledged that some of the doctors named in the notices are qualified in other countries, but stressed they are not recognised in Jamaica and, therefore, have to pass the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (CAM-C) examination.
"They have to come and do an examination and if you get full registration, you can practise in Jamaica and other CARICOM countries," she said.
In most cases, it is the pharmacists who identify rogue doctors, Lowe explained. "Pharmacists have been very helpful, because it's their duty to ensure they can see the registration details, so they may get a prescription and they don't see a registration number."
Rosemarie Wright-Pascoe, president of the Medical Association Jamaica (MAJ), concurred with Lowe saying that ignorance of the law is no excuse.
"Absolutely, any doctor who may knowingly be, in fact, employing any person who is not registered as a doctor, the (MAJ) condemns that action, it is unprincipled and unethical," she said.