Health Minister, Donville Inniss, as he addressed those gathered at??the 4th??Anniversary ceremony of the Dermatological Institute – Barbados, last Thursday evening.?? Looking on is??the Institute’s Founder and President, Dr. Suleman Bhamjee.

The recently passed Medical Profession Bill, 2011, recognises the importance of specialty areas and ensures that both the Medical Council and the public are aware of the qualifications and skills of those who offer medical services, including dermatology.

This assertion has come from Health Minister, Donville Inniss, as he delivered the feature address at the 4th anniversary of the Dermatological Institute of Barbados, last Thursday evening at the institute’s Belleville location.

While noting that the recently passed Bill repealed the Medical Registration Act, 1972, the Minister emphasised that modern medicine had evolved to the stage where such specialties and sub-specialties should be recognised and appropriately registered.??

"Last time I was here, I did indicate that continuing medical education ought to be mandatory in Barbados. Today, I am happy to report that it is an integral part of the new Medical Professions Bill… I expect that in the medium to long-term such requirements of continuing medical education will lead to improved patient care and a more cost effective health care system… We will not, in Barbados, allow one to offer for service any clinical skills for which persons do not have the requisite training and experience.?? It is not fair to the entire medical profession and it is certainly not in the best interests of the patients and the public at large," he pointed out.

Minister Inniss lauded the Institute and its Founder and President, Suleman Bhamjee for not only emphasising the importance of being up to date with the most recent dermatological developments but for also training pharmacists in recognising when patients needed intervention. He also praised him for educating the general public through public lectures, health fairs and publications.

Noting Government’s commitment to working closely with health care organsiations, such as the Dermatological Institute of Barbados, the Health Minister stressed that "through such collaborative efforts, developmental mechanisms can be implemented for the purposes of monitoring up to date changes in health care and the sharing of information for holistic health management".

It was also revealed that since 1999, the services of a consultant dermatologist had been available to persons seeking care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and between 2005 and 2008, 3,765 clients were seen on an outpatient basis.

The Health Minister also indicated that his Ministry had sought to expand its dermatological services in order to cater to a wider cross section of the Barbadian public by having such services available at the polyclinics. Dermatology is now available at least once monthly at all eight polyclinics and clients may be seen on a referral basis.??

It is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.????lbayley@barbados.gov.bb

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