Kebba Secka

Gambia Medical and Dental Council (GMDC) on Wednesday July 11th presented their additional activity report before the National Assembly Select Committee on Health. The Select Committee after having a close scrutiny of the council’s main activity report realised there were some specific areas of concern particularly, the legal framework of the council.

At the opening of the session, the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Health, Ousman Sillah commended the council for its detailed reports presented before the committee and being steadfast in promoting the quality of health status in the Gambia. He enjoined his colleagues to raise their concerns and issues that need clarification from the Council’s Reps. Dr Mohammadou Kabir Cham, registrar of the council and Mr Baboucarr Baldeh, administrative Secretary were the representatives from the council.

Honourable Fatou Bah Jawara asked how far the council has gone in regularising some legal issues and whether the council can give the Committee a specific timeline for the completion of this legal framework. In response, Dr Kabir Cham said it was beyond the council to provide timeline for addressing its long standing legal framework that perhaps was related to some outstanding issues. Furthermore, he noted that on 12th June, 2018 when the council submitted its reports to the Select Committee on Health and wrote formally to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Solicitor and Legal Secretary sought for a meeting with them to discuss legal burning issues impinging upon the effective implementation of the MDPA 1988. Dr Cham added that the council will ensure availability of its strategic plan in the first quarter of the 2019.

When the committee raised concerns of professionalism of some medical practitioners, the council’s registrar said: ”The GMDC is responsible for examining the facts, including interviewing complainants to determine the merit of any complaint made against any medical practitioner registered under the MDPA, 1988. He further stated that the council always responds to complaints received and also takes necessary actions where needed. ”The seeming referred to discrepancy may be related to either awareness related issues and or inertia in lodging formal complaint to the council inter alia,” he said.

Members asked the council to explained the circumstances that surrounds the annual government subvention for the council and allowances. Dr Cham told the committee that the council is receiving its annual government subvention but complaint that from 2013 to date central government is not paying them allowances. They sought the intervention of the Select Committee on Health to find out why it happened and the whereabouts of those monies during the period. On the annual subventions, Dr Cham said the council each year receives a sum of D150, 000 from central government as requested. The Additional Reports presented was accepted and council was praised for job well done.

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