Every year dozens of medical and dental students from reputable universities around the world seek to come to Seychelles to do their electives. In 2016 there were 55 such students. The Health Care Agency charges 175 Euros for a nursing student to be attached to its hospital and 350 Euros for a medical student.
The attraction of Seychelles appears to be not only the very low fees, the weather, the sun, the sea and the sand but also the unique health care system.
Seychelles has attained universal health coverage. Primary, secondary and tertiary care are all free at the point of use. The macro public health indicators going from life expectancy (the average hovers around 74 years), through infant mortality ( 10-12 per 1000 live births) to maternal mortality ( on average about 1 person per year in absolute numbers) are exceptionally good.
Students coming from overseas are able to see how this health care system impacts on the health and well being of the citizens.
Like the western countries, Seychelles is grappling with the non communicable diseases. the prevalence of obesity is high and associated with this is high prevalence of diabetes which hovers around 10% of the population according to recent cross-sectional surveys. There is a unique tertiary care hospital, Seychelles Hospital, to which most of the international students on electives are attached.
Natasha Barra is the deputy registrar of SMDC as from the 1st June 2017. It is the first time that SMDC appoints a deputy registrar.
Miss Barra has experience in banking, human resources and the travel trade.
The deputy registrar will work with the registrar especially on matters relating to discipline and compliance.
SMDC welcomes her to the team.
Three senior officials of the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council, the Seychelles Nurses and Midwives Council and the Health Professional Council are attending a 3-day capacity building workshop in Kigali, Rwanda, from the 29th May to the 2nd June 2017. They left Seychelles on Saturday 27th May.
DR Susan Fock Tave, Mr John Dubel and Mrs Patricia Rene have said that the training will contribute to strengthening the work of their respective Councils.
This is the first participation of Seychelles in an AMCOA (Association of Medical Councils of Africa) event since the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council rejoined the organization in 2016.
The decision to organise and host such workshops stems from a resolution taken by the AMCOA Management Committee at its meeting held on 5th April 2017 in Pretoria, South
Africa. The objectives of these workshops are to –
• ensure that, through a combined Regulatory Capacity Building Session, Medical Regulators in Africa are assisted and guided in various aspects of governance, which would ultimately lead to them achieving their Strategic goals within their jurisdictions; and
• ensure that the work of AMCOA Committees commences prior to the 2017 Annual Conference considering the diverse programme as planned and presented by the host country (South Africa).
The Association of Medical Councils of Africa through its Management Committee and the assistance of the Rwanda Medical and Dental Council are therefore arranging these workshops.
A delegation of the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council consisting of the Chairman, Dr B Valentin, the Registrar, Dr S Fock Tave and the Assistant Registrar, Ms May Paule Gallante visited the Silhouette Medical Centre on 11th May.
The delegation was courteously received by staff of the centre, resident doctor German Anaesthesiologist, Dr Thomas Ihmann and the resident nurse, Ann Radin. The purpose of the visit was to explain the old and the new features of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act and regulations thereof. It was also to inspect and learn about the facility.
Silhouette Medical Centre is managed by the German Company Resortdoc under a tripartite agreement between the Ministry of Health, the Islands Development Company and Labriz Resort, the hotel on the island.
Until 2014, Silhouette Medical Centre and Resortdoc managed the only hyperbaric chamber in Seychelles. Seychelles Hospital is now the main provider of hyperbaric therapy for dive accidents and other uses. Although Silhouette Medical Centre serves only a small and predominantly well clientele, it also boasts of a rudimentary dental service and observation facilities for day cases.
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.
Leaders of the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council (Dr Bernard Valentin and Dr Susan Fock Tave), Seychelles Nurses and Midwives Council (Mr John Dubel and Ms Winnifred Agricole) and Health Professionals Council (Mrs Patricia Rene and Mr Daniel Belmont) held their very first Inter Council Meeting this week, Wednesday 1st February 2017.
The meeting was held in the new offices of the SMDC located on the third floor of La Ciotat building in apartment number 6.
The Agenda of the meeting was set as “common interest to improve the health of the nation”. The three councils discussed a wide array of subjects ranging from legislation, recognition of qualifications, continuous professional development, scope of practice and identity cards, among many other topics.
The next Inter Council Meeting will be in three months’ time.
As the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council ponders its move to new offices outside of the compound of the Ministry of Health, the leaders of the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council, the Seychelles Nurses and Midwives Council and the Council of the other Health Professionals have expressed the desire to work in closer partnership in 2017.
They aspire to unify their small entities under one bigger, better umbrella organization, as has been done in Australia and South Africa.
“For this to happen, the laws that constitute the three councils have to change,” said Dr Bernard Valentin, Chairman of Seychelles Medical and Dental Council. “But even before the law changes, we can do a lot more together,” he added.
At the fortnightly collaborative person-centered care (PCC) meeting last week, the Chairman of the Health Professionals Council, Patricia Rene and the Registrar of the Seychelles Nurses and Midwives Council, Winnifred Agricole, expressed similar views.
During 2016, the Councils worked together to organize and promote continuous professional development and careers in health. The ongoing collaboration on PCC is a direct result of this deepening synergy.
“Such purposeful collaboration will intensify in 2017,” said Mrs Patricia Rene.
Those who were familiar with the website of the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council will have noticed our new look.
The new look comes after several trials for a modern website that departs significantly from the previous and that reflects what the Council is and wants to be at this juncture of its existence.
We have not departed significantly from our corporate colours (the customary blue) but we have made the pages look new and refreshing, something we hope our visitors will like.
In the coming weeks we will be uploading as many photos as possible about what we do as a Council.
Please write to us and comment on the user-friendliness or otherwise of this website.
Aside Posted on Updated on
2016 has been a most momentous year for the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council. It joined the International Association of Medical and Regulatory Authorities. It re-entered the Association of Medical Councils of Africa and it achieved all its financial targets for the year.
2016 was also marked by an unusually high number of cases of alleged professional misconduct reported to the Council. Fourteen complaints in total were registered, of which nine were against doctors and five against dentists. One dentist was suspended from the Register whilst five doctors and one dentist were reprimanded. Of those who were reprimanded fines (1) and/or mandatory training (2) in specific areas of health care were added to their sanctions.
Although this does not necessarily mean a major downturn in the quality of medical or dental care in Seychelles, it does mean a greater consciousness on the part of the public of the role the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council can playing to improve medical and dental practice in Seychelles.
In 2016, the Council also put a lot of emphasis on promoting person-centered care and joined the Ministry of Health and the other professional councils in organising major sensitisation events throughout the country. So much so that person-centerer care has now become the buzz word for health-policy makers.
The Annual Report of the Council will be published on this site soon.
For the first time in its 21-year history, the Seychelles Medical and Dental Council has appointed a senior medical practitioner to be its serving Registrar. The appointment was formalized at the first meeting of the new Council which took place yesterday, Thursday 26th November at Seychelles Hospital.
ENT Specialist, Dr Susan Fock Tave, Principal Medical Officer at Seychelles Hospital was appointed to fill the vacant post. She will serve alongside Dr. Bernard Valentin who was rapturously re-elected as Chairman.
The Registrar is a statutory position of major importance for the Council as the Registrar ensures the accuracy of the register and implements policy decisions of the Council. The post had so far, either remained vacant for a long time or occupied by administrative staff.
“The change will significantly raise the profile and rigour of the Registrar’s Office,” said Dr. Valentin.
At that meeting Health Minister, Mrs. Mitcy Larue and the newly re-elected Chairman vowed to make the improvement in the quality of communication between the doctor (or dentist) and their patients, a prime objective of the oncoming biennium.
“Too many doctors in our health system cannot or do not communicate adequately with their patients and their colleagues,” they said. “Communication is the most important element of health care. Without communication care quality cannot be good!
The discussion on communication pivoted principally on the insufficient ability of some of the doctors in the health system, to speak English.
The Minister and the Chairman agreed that whatever needs to be done must be done to ensure that within the next two years all doctors and dentists who enter the local health service are fluent in at least one of the national languages.
They also pledged to do everything in their powers to replace the current Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act by a modern, fit for purpose legislation.
After the new members of the Council had heard the numerous successes and challenges of SMDC, they approved the general outline of its two-year plan and confidently committed to raise the Council to greater heights.