The Ministry of Health is moving with a great sense of urgency and determination to improve upon the regulations of health care practitioners in the public and private sectors.

Minister of Health, Donville Inniss disclosed this today, as he addressed the opening of the Continuous Quality Improvement workshop for health professionals, in the main conference room, 2nd Floor, National Insurance Building.

He said: "The new Medical Registration Bill was returned to the Ministry of Health from the Attorney General’s Office last week and it will shortly be reviewed by a committee of Cabinet and I eagerly await a robust debate on it both in Parliament and in the public domain."

??Stressing, however, that reforms and improved regulations in the health care system should not only centre on medical practitioners, the Minister opined,?? "Far too often we spend too much time focusing on doctors and not engaging our discussions on other health care professionals," and he assured participants that no group would be left behind in the reform process.

To this end, it was noted that councils would be better regulated and would no longer comprise only members of a specific profession, but would "inculcate the views and experiences of ordinary Barbadians and other professions on each council".

The Health Minister opined: "The medical, dental, paramedical and pharmacy councils are all being restructured to become more reflective of our wider society and to bring greater checks and balances to the deliberations which must all be focused on improved patient care.

"Our effort will go way beyond the Councils which regulate the professions and begin to look at the facilities from whence these professionals operate, along with the quality of service and staffing as well.?? It is a mammoth undertaking which will not occur overnight, but your deliberations here today will help you and my Ministry move with pride along the right path of an improved health care system."

Participants were also reminded that a few months ago Cabinet approved a request from the Ministry of Health for the establishment of a National Health Quality Council, as a regulatory body.?? Revealing that his Ministry was currently working with the legislative drafters to create this body via statute and to give it the authority, the Minister added that the Council would develop and apply strong licensing legislation.

"With this in mind a new Quality Act is currently being prepared.?? It will implement Risk Management as the first step in the roll-out of the national Health Care Quality Council," he remarked.

According to the Minister, the intention of the change is to promote safety and improve health care delivery in the private and public sectors. Adding that the coordination of Quality Management, under the remit of the National Health Care Quality Council had successfully been implemented in developed countries, Mr. Inniss said this intervention would undoubtedly achieve its goals, "given the calibre of the health sector workforce and the Barbadian demands for the highest standards of quality."

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