Attendees at the Friday CME meeting of 24th February 2017 at the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre at Seychelles Hospital stayed behind for nearly two hours to hear the officials of the Council explain the content of the new Professional Misconduct regulation. The new regulation is expected to come into force soon.
The regulation was generally well received except for the provision that requires medical practitioners and dentists to always have a chaperone when examining a patient. That part of the regulation was the subject of protracted debate. Many doctors felt that, in the local context, it could not be implemented as prescribed as there are too few nurses to act as chaperone. Others felt otherwise.
The discussion on chaperone or not, extended to the social media after the meeting. Even after presentation of documentation from United Kingdom’s Good Practice Guidance and Medical Proection Society, views remained divided as to whether chaperones should be mandatory in all circumstances in Seychelles .
“I was taught that,” said one doctor. “I never examine male patients by myself. But it adds on to an extra personnel in the room. So waiting time will increase which is the reverse of the expectations from public.”
“I support it,” said another. “Partly because it makes a patient more comfortable especially on first (and short) visits where good rapport has not been built, and partly because of the increasing trend in defensive medicine and litigation threats in Seychelles…”
“It should not be mandatory!” added another. “I also support the comments which came up from the floor during today’s meeting mentioning practical difficulties like lack of staff, patient privacy (especially in the private set-up where patients demands for privacy!”
“Inappropriate touching need not involve the private parts,” clarified another doctor. “There is also the issue of propositioning patients, lewd remarks etc…”
The Council has noted all views and will intervene appropriately.
Before the presentation of the regulation, the Registrar of the Council presented the work of the Council insofar as registration and disciplinary matters are concerned.