Hon. Minister of Health calls for more robust medical laws within the health sector

Hon. Minister for Health, Julius Timothy

Roseau, Dominica – July 1, 2010……… Minister for Health, Hon. Julius Timothy, is firmly of the view that robust medical laws are needed in Dominica to deal with a wide range of issues.

The Minister made the disclosure at a Medical Ethics Workshop which took place at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau recently.

“I am totally convinced that stated ethics and professionalism are not enough to move a health care system to the next level. We need robust medical laws to deal with a wide range of issues, such as what to do with patients who refuse treatment or patients who are unable to consent to treatment. We also need improved laws to address concerns of medical negligence,” Hon. Timothy stated.

Hon. Timothy, who was appointed Minister for Health in January, 2010, also said that improved laws are needed to address concerns of medical negligence and laws are also needed to make continued medical education mandatory.

The Minister underscored the point that “we certainly need laws to address concerns of fitness to practice and disciplinary actions against transgressors”.

Hon. Timothy, who has been a legislator for two decades, gave the commitment that appropriate legislation that would seek to improve the practice of all health care professionals would be put before Parliament in the near future.

“I think this workshop is very timely. I urge you to continue educating yourselves to face the new challenges of providing health care to a very demanding public,” Hon. Timothy concluded.
The Medical Ethics Workshop was organised by the Ministry of Health and Ross University School of Medicine.

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  1. @Leslie:

    Sometimes it is better for us to shut our mouth, rather than babble, thus exposing our ignorance.

    In the event you are responding to what I Francisco Telemaque wrote, your comments did not even come close in regard to the situation that I spoke about.

    Yes, there are plenty of doctors out here, better yet, perhaps you should count it that there are lots of better educated people than you out there, and if you shot your mouth long enough, and listen a bit more, perhaps you may learn something from those who are more intelligent than you!

    You need to shut-up, if I was not aware of her medical condition, I would not have commented on it!

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  2. Leslie
    July 4, 2010

    papa!!! It looking like it have more doctors out than those that went to medical school! Don’t get me wrong……..shit happens in the system!! But before you blame health care workers, find out about d person’s underlying condition and the prognosis!!! Doctors not God you know!!! if God say is your turn to die………NO ONE CAN CHANGE IT!!!! Repent Dominicans so you will be ready wen God calls you home!!!

  3. Concerned
    July 2, 2010

    I believe that a law protecting citizens is quite necessary and long outstnding in Health Care. I also believe that the Ministry of Health needs to direct some much needed attention on Performance Improvement in Health Care. This should involve all persons charged wtih the responsibility of delivering Health Care to the public, not just doctors. Attention should be placed towards ensuring patients’ safety and efficiency, especially in the hospital setting. There should be procedures for identifying the reasons for so many lapses in the Health Care system and it is necessary to have policies in place to deal with these issues as they arise. Maybe a Health Care Ethics Committee could also be established to deal with the ethical or unethical practices that seem to be plaquing the Health Industry in Dominica. I think we need to be proactive and put measures in place to avoid the mishaps rather than simply have laws to pumish persons after something dreadful happens.

  4. Eddie
    July 1, 2010

    I agree with you Mr.Timothy 100% !!

    July 1, 2010

    Great idea after the fact .The Drs who have F………. ed-up scores of people will be retired by the time the laws are in place Mr.Tim .The new Drs will be reluctant to do their best for fear of any body suing em. there is one who settled many times for babies left in the track and a c-section was needed while the Dr. was constantly located at seamoon drinking scotch. and mal parle-ing people.This one should be a pauper now for the number of people he messed up.But again we have no laws and thse guys are like kings.Like eveything else in DA we are behind by 75 yrs.

  6. Julius, speaking in terms of ” medical negligence ” is putting it mildly if your comments are related to the practice of medicine in Dominica. Negligence can be defined as the quality or state of being negligent, in simple terms, meaning, the failure of a prudent person to exercise care.

    So, who is the target?


    . Doctors

    . Cooks in the kitchen

    . Ambulance drivers

    . Administrators

    . The government of Dominica

    . Julius Timothy, the minister of health

    I think what many of us wants to here is that you intend to introduce laws that will protect the citizens of our country from malpractice.

    There is a difference between malpractice, and simple medical negligence; malpractice can be defined as ( a dereliction from professional duty or a failure to exercise an accepted degree of professional skill, or learning by one such as a physician (medical doctor), rending professional services which results in injury, loss, or damage) to his or her patients.

    The focus should be on the doctors:

    Too often we find people in our country playing doctor. They left medical school almost a hundred years ago, never subscribe to any organization such as JAMA, thus they lack knowledge on the latest findings, and development in medicine, and so they continue to use what they were taught so long ago, they continue to use outdated information to treat the unsuspecting, resulting in serious damage to people even to a point where patients has lost their life’s because of malpractice.

    In deed we need to have a resolve in such cases.

    Here is a situation; last year in December, just before you Julius, won your seat, which gives you the opportunity to be talking now, something happened at the Princess Margaret Hospital, which should never have happened had the doctor treating the mother of my cousin Kathleen Telemaque, knew what she was doing.

    I will not go into too much detail, however if it becomes necessary for an investigation of this lady doctor who to me is a quack, and should not be practicing medicine except under a rock, I will make the details available.

    This so called lady doctor discharged an all but dead lady from the hospital when indeed this lady should be given an emergency blood transfusion.

    If you are reading this Julius, you will not understand what is written in the following paragraph, however, since you are the minister of health, perhaps you can find a subordinate (doctor) who should be able to interpret the contents to you, and there you may discover the need for some malpractice laws in the country.


    The the hemoglobin concentration of blood varies with the hematocrit. The normal values for the blood hemoglobin concentration are 13.5 to 18.0 g/100 ml in males, and 12.0 to 16.0 g/100 ml in females.

    The normal mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), which is the concentration within the red cells, is 32 to 36 g/100 ml. Unless the information above was revised in recent years that information stands.

    I gave you the above information to let you know that Kathy’s mother was discharge from the hospital with a value of ” 5.”

    The lady should be dead, what kept her alive was not medical science, eventually she died, and she died after a transfusion was given.

    Based on the information above, this lady who was sent home, all but a dead person from the Hospital, and then readmitted, the doctor who treated her should not be allowed, or given a licenses to practice medicine on this planet.

    She is not a doctor!

    She is a quack.

    So, if your idea is to correct such situations by implementing laws where doctors can be sued for their malpractice, and unscrupulous behavior, such as sedating, and raping their patients, that would be most welcome in our country.

    The issue of lawyers in the same category must be dealt with also.

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

  7. Dr. Finger
    July 1, 2010

    Its about time. I am waiting patiently for this legislation to be brought before parliament particularly the areas dealing with medical malpractice. Too many people have been hurt and killed by the carlessness and negligence of some physicians in Dca. Those errors are always covered by others in the same field. I know some medical practcianers that are frequently under the influence of alcohol when on the job but no one dares say anything. Hopefully, this legislation will address these concerns

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