Extend period for nominations to medical council to enable broad participation

Dear Editor,

Recently, a number of letters have appeared in the media from individuals expressing their concerns about the functioning of the Medical Council of Guyana (MCOG). These concerns are valid and need addressing. For starters, just look at the recent nominations of members to MCOG published by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO),Dr. S. Persaud which appeared in the Sunday Stabroek on the 12th of July 2018. One does not need to be a genius to figure out what is going on with MCOG and why there are so many problems. The CMO owes an explanation to all the doctors in Guyana pertaining to:

1. Why sufficient time was not given to ensure all doctors were aware of the nominations so as to allow them to participate meaningfully? It seems to us that this process was rushed through, apparently with the intention of allowing the failed current members to be re-nominated. Suffice to say that not all doctors reside in Georgetown and communication for most of them is a challenge.

2. Since the CMO is an ex-officio member of the council and he is expected to represent all doctors in the country, but especially those in the government sector, one wonders why  he is not doing so.

3. The nominees from a glance are all well-known members or sympathizers of a particular political party, from one ethnic group and almost all work at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation and private institutions. This doesn’t seem balanced and raises serious concerns.

It is our humble view that there is a concerted effort to subtly politicize professional medical bodies/entities such as Guyana Medical Association and MCOG. This should not be the case as these bodies are supposed to be highly professional and totally independent.

We are calling for an extension of the nomination period to allow for broader  participation before elections are held.

 Yours faithfully,

(Names and addresses of

three doctors supplied)

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