Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. (iWN file photo)

Minister of Health Senator Luke Browne has flagged what he presented as potential conflicts of interest involving doctors who work in the public health sector while maintaining a private practice.

“… the doctors employed at the hospital, are also permitted to carry out private practice. And nobody is trying to prevent this practice from continuing. But, Mr. Speaker, I think everybody would agree that it needs to be regulated, and that it needs to be regulated with a view to mitigate against the problems associated with potential conflicts of interest,” Browne said, on Tuesday, during the budget debate.

The minister told lawmakers that some of the relevant contemplations “could be summed up thus: should a doctor at the hospital use his or her position there to seek to direct patients to his or her private practice?

“Should we have a situation where public patients have to wait very long for surgeries, while private patients experience short waiting times? Should a patient be induced to change in status from public patient to private patient so that they could have the access to healthcare services fast-tracked?”

He said these are some of the questions that policymakers need to ponder when they approach this subject.

“And as I say, this is something that we would be able to develop more fully and present on, because we want to be fair to all parties concerned, and we certainly do not want to jeopardise a person’s ability to go and get quality health care services at our hospitals or at any other health care facility.

“And we are determined to iron out a system that is fair, and just that determination should not be underestimated,” he said.

The minister said that while he was flagging the matter as one requiring the attention of hospital services, “… I think that it may be necessary to give it full treatment in the future.” 

3 replies on “Potential conflict of interest involving doctors”

  1. Orlando Alexander says:

    In trying to understand what Luke is trying to raise, there are still more questions than answers.
    We may still want to ask ,
    1) is there adequate measures at the hospital to accommodate patients at a fast pace hence reducing the long waiting list that is influencing the health of patients putting financial strain on their families?
    2) are there proper equipment at the hospital to carry out the task required for patients and doctors in the public sector to help the patients recover?

    3) Has the government questioned themselves about spending more funding on improving health care and even building a better facility in the country?

    4) Before Luke can ask these questions in parliament in order to pass a bill, let him ask himself, what is he doing in the country especially his community to improve health care?

    5) Have we ever asked ourselves what drove other doctors to start or have their own practice?

    6) why do we have private doctors working in the hospital wen we paid for others to go and study and yet still waiting to be employed?

    If we can have some answers then we can think on passing a bill, if not let the conflict of interest be so we can have a more speedy medical response service and a healthy country.

    1. Jameal campbell says:

      All these question will not be answerd cause he’s not looking in that direction jus keep on saying future plans and going for the fifth (5) term, he have to go with what is now. Talks to comfort the fool and uneducated.

  2. Luke always talking some kind of nonsense. Where is the medicine for the patients? Where is it that you have to take your own medication there? Why is the accident & emergency unit so slow – takes hours for a nurse & a doctor to assess you? Why not provide us with those simple answer first then we can talk about private doctors & their practice.

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