by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Allied Health Practitioners to become licenced and registered to practice by 1st quarter of 2019
- Grenada Allied Health Council tasked to assess applications for a licence under Health Practitioner’s Act
- Penalties include fine not exceeding $250,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years
Allied Health practitioners are to become licenced and registered to practice by 1st quarter of 2019 or be subjected to penalties laid out by the Health Practitioner’s Act No 16 of 2010. This is to govern the professional conduct and ethics of allied health workers, including dietitians, clinical psychologists, diagnostic radiographers, osteopaths, acupuncturists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, imaging technicians and laboratory technicians, among others.
Last January a similar call was made by the Chairman of the Grenada Allied Health Council, Dr Nicole Forte, as the council seeks to carry out its function to uphold the highest standards of allied health professional care in Grenada. The chairman has issued another call citing further sensitisation of practitioners on the importance of compliance with the laws of Grenada.
“We have targeted the 1st quarter of this year to have everyone registered with the council once they are practicing. You should at least try to get your documents in or try to make some contact with the council because the council is not here to bully allied health professionals into compliance, but we are here to get this industry regulated. We have been lenient at this time, but after the 1sdt quarter of 2019 there can be penalties and conviction if found guilty.”
A person who fails to register and be licenced commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $250,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.
Under the Health Practitioner’s Act, the Grenada Allied Health Council will be tasked to assess and approve or reject applications for a license. Dr Forte said as part of the process for allied health workers to receive and keep their licence to practice, they must show proof of continuing education in modern best practice in their respective fields. “In order to get registered and keep your registration and licence, you have to be doing continued education based on best practice,” she said.
Consequently, all practitioners providing such services must display and make available to the public their licence certificate at their place of work.
Dr Forte said the public also has a right to request proof of registration and licence before being attended to by an allied health professional. “It is in the best interest of the public when seeking care to ensure that service providers are registered and licenced, as a result, the public has all legal rights to obtain confirmation as relates to licensure if not visibly displayed at workplaces. The public also has the right to make complaints and reports to the council of any illegal practices.”
The registration fee is EC$250 and the licensing fee is EC$350. The licensing must be done every 3 years. Allied health professionals are asked to contact the Grenada Allied Health Council at 473-440-4709/473-423-2472 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. A comprehensive list of allied health practitioners will be published.
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