The primary duty of the Medical Council of Jamaica is to protect the public by regulating the conditions of medical Practice across Jamaica.
Composition of Council
There are eight (8) registered medical practitioners elected by their colleagues. In addition to these the appointment of two (2) ex-officio members viz the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) or his/her deputy and the Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences are made.
Two (2) registered medical practitioners selected by the Minister of Health and three (3) lay persons – one (1) selected by the Minister, one (1) selected by him from a list of 3 persons nominated by the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) and finally one (1) selected from a list of 3 persons (usually lawyers) nominated by the 10 registered medical practitioners and the 2 ex-officio members make up the total membership of the council.
Under the Medical Act of Jamaica, the Council is required to:
- Register medical practitioners;
- Set the required standard and hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME’s). This will then be the requirement for issuing of Annual practising Certificates.
- Ensure the maintenance of proper standards of professional conduct by registered medical practitioners.
The Council keeps an updated Medical Register of all medical practitioners licensed to practice across Jamaica. This Register helps the general public to distinguish between qualified and unqualified practitioners. No person is regarded as legally qualified to practice medicine in Jamaica unless his or her name appears on the most recent list of this Register, and he/she is in possession of a current practising certificate.
Applications for registration include provisional and locum provisional registrations for newly qualified doctors or in the case of the latter doctors requiring a recognised period prior to being allowed to take the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils examination. The period of internship is normally one (1) year. Special registration which is temporary registration is also given for varying periods to practitioners whose qualifications are not acceptable for full registration and whose practice must be under the supervision of the medical officer of health for the region within which they practise.
Proper investigation and due diligence must be done on all applicants. In keeping with the Amendments of the Medical Act ( 1996, 2004) the Council also has duty to issue a practising certificate annually to a registered medical practitioner if the Council is satisfied that the practitioner has complied with prescribed requirements for continuing medical education (CME) and has paid the appropriate renewal fee.
The primary duty of the Medical Council is to protect the public by regulating the conditions of medical Practice across Jamaica. The Council therefore has the duty to investigate appropriately when any alleged case of professional misconduct by a medical practitioner is reported. This may necessitate a formal enquiry with associated lawyers, and also the services of a court stenographer for accurate record of the proceedings. Disciplinary action will follow if appropriate.