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Rollins: Medical Bill Discriminatory

Fort Charlotte Member of Parliament (MP) Dr. Andre Rollins said the new medical bill, tabled in the House of Assembly yesterday is discriminatory in some parts.

During his contribution to the debate Dr. Rollins referred to the portion that would not allow Bahamian doctors to advertise their practice.

He compared it to the current gambling situation in the country in which foreigners are permitted to take part, but Bahamians are not.

“If Bahamian practitioners cannot advertise, then I don’t expect to see medical practitioners in the state of Florida, that are actively and aggressively trying to attract Bahamians to their practices, advertising in the Tribune, The Nassau Guardian or The Punch. I don’t expect to see them on Cable 12 or ZNS. If you’re going to allow it, then there is no way that I expect you to deny Bahamian practitioners the same right.”

He said it is “discrimination once again.”

Dr. Rollins said that if the government allows it, then they must ask themselves whose interest they are really protecting.
The Fort Charlotte MP said particularly for the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) that was founded on the belief that they are for all Bahamians; there should be some part of the bill that speaks to protecting the rights of those doctors who could not afford advertising tools.

“If you will allow foreign practitioners to get away with things that you would not allow your locals to get away with then I contend as a legislator that I don’t believe that the relevant regulatory authorities have any legal leg to stand on when it comes to disciplining those practitioners in such an environment,” he said.

Dr. Rollins accused some doctors, particularly those abroad, of creating their own concoctions and not only calling them medicine but also selling them to patients without doing the proper research.

“My concern is, what type of evidenced based approach are these practitioners taking” he asked. “Are they looking at different outcomes to know that in 50 per cent of cases this would be successful as opposed to one per cent. Is it a 90 per cent success rate?

“Without this information you’ve got men and women making tremendous amounts of money on an unsuspecting public that is inclined to believe that when you put doctor in front of your name you have the ability or that you are somehow ethically always going to look after the interest of that patient.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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