Health Practice Council amends rules

The Health Practice Council has informed medical practitioners about amended rules that govern the submission of credentials, and the placement of advertisements.

Practitioners have also been informed that the codes of ethics for the four HPC Councils will be published shortly in the Cayman Islands Gazette, and made available to the public; and that all healthcare facilities should have certificates of operation from the HPC, stated a press release.

Credentials as of 30 May, letters of good standing for any new application for registration as a healthcare practitioner must be forwarded directly to the HPC Registrar from the licensing body in the country in which the applicant is registered.

LOGS that are sent from applicants themselves will not be accepted.

Faxed or e-mailed copies from the issuing organisation will be accepted for processing purposes; however, the original LOGS must be received before the practitioner starts his/her employment.

Practitioners who wish to be licensed as specialists must provide evidence that they are registered as specialists in one of the countries from which the Cayman Islands accepts registration. These countries are Australia; Canada; Jamaica; New Zealand; South Africa; the UK; and the US.

The names and qualifications of all registered practitioners in the Cayman Islands will be published in the Gazette in the near future. The public is encouraged to take advantage of this information, and to become informed about their practitioners who are taking care of them, the release said.

Advertising

Advertising guidelines remain the same except that for now, all visiting medical specialists are allowed two ads per visit.

Codes of Ethics

The process of updating the codes of ethics of the different councils is in the final stages.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council’s code is completed, and in the process of being gazetted. Interested persons may enquire at the HPC office for a copy.

The Medical and Dental Council’s code is completed and in the process of being gazetted. This document should be available by the end of June.

The Pharmacy Council’s code is also in the process of being gazetted, and will be available by the end of June.

The Council for Professions Allied with Medicine’s code is being updated.

HPC officials remind practitioners that the code of ethics under which they have been governed is valid until they are replaced by Council-specific codes. The Council-specific codes will be valid on the day they are published in the Gazette.

Facilities

All healthcare facilities are to be registered with HPC, which is the first step in the process of ensuring basic standards in practice and accommodation, in the interest of the public safety.

Cayman, as well as the entire region, has already accepted the International Standard of Operations (ISO) 15189 (2003) Standards for Medical Laboratories. All medical laboratory owners should appraise themselves of these standards, and align their operations with them, as their facilities will be evaluated against them.

Standards for facilities like outpatient clinics, X-ray facilities and pharmacies will be in place by the end of June, when basic local standards will be completed for these facilities. The deadline for complying with these standards is the end of 2007.

All healthcare facilities must have an HPC certificate of operations on display, said HPC Registrar Shirline Henriques. If it is not in full view for the public to see, patients have the right to ask about it, she added.

‘From a public safety standpoint, the public should know that healthcare providers are themselves registered, and are working in registered healthcare facilities,’ Mrs Henriques noted.

FYI

For more information, healthcare practitioners are invited to contact the HPC on (345) 949-2813 or [email protected].

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