The year 2014 marks twenty years of existence of the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council. Whilst the occasion will not be marked by any special celebration, it is a hugely significant milestone. After twenty years of trying to establish a footing, this year SMDC is working hard to become a present, visible and influential authority in shaping the medical and dental agenda in Seychelles.
This reinvigoration coincides with the reinvigoration of the health sector in Seychelles. Insofar as SMDC is concerned, there is a need to go back to the drawing board. A review of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act, 1994 is essential. This will take into account the changes having taken place in the health landscape in Seychelles since 1994.
And a lot has happened. The private health sector has flourished. The number of private medical and dental practices have sextupled. The number of private pharmacies has followed suit. The complementary health fields are also breaking through the ring fence. The number of people who now use private practitioners as their preferred care givers is increasing exponentially.
A good medical and dental practice guidance needs to be incorporated into the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act. Clearer procedures for dealing with violations of segments of the Act must be incorporated in the statute so that there is a more uniform standard of practice and a fairer system of sanctions that is applied across the board. Issues of advertising of medical practices need to be addressed and take into account the changes that have occurred in this domain of discourse internationally over the years.
The Seychelles Medical and Dental Council will draw lessons from best-practices achieved by other well-established councils of similar mandates from the rest of the world. With their longer history and their abundance of human resources these regulatory Councils and Boards have a long story to tell in shaping medical and dental practices. SMDC has no choice but to carefully listen to their story and evolve accordingly.