NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 6 – The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Board has launched a new code of conduct that aims to see cases of malpractice against medics heard and determined faster.
The code dictates that cases against doctors must be concluded within six months as opposed to the current one year it takes to determine a complaint.
“The services will be decentralised to the county level and this way it will be faster to deal with them,” said Chief Executive Officer Daniel Yumbya.
Attorney General Githu Muigai noted that the revised code had established a new professional conduct committee that would be constituted when need arises to expedite disciplinary proceedings at the national and county levels.
“The code will increase efficiency and will enable the board to clear backlog of cases that are normally referred to the full board tribunal which is not only time consuming but also a very expensive venture,” he said.
The committee shall have power to reprimand a doctor or dentist who has been found guilty of professional misconduct or is found to have breached the applicable law at the material time or the institution.
“This is done by sending warning letters to the practitioner(s) or institution(s),” the code states in part.
A doctor who is found culpable of malpractice could have their practicing license suspended for a maximum of one year.
It will also have the authority to suspend licences for medical institutions for up to six months or to order closure of medical/ dental institution when found not to be operating under the right circumstances.
Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o said there was need to fast track the more than 300 malpractice cases that are pending at the board.
“I urge you to continue in your efforts and to carry out more preliminary inquiry in order to clear the backlog of cases that are at various stages of investigation,” the minister urged.
The code shall be observed by all medical and dental practitioners registered or licensed to practice in Kenya as well as medical institutions registered under the medical practitioners and dentist act.
“I am glad that finally the board has fixed mandatory fee guidelines in medical practice so that if you go for a caesarean section at Kijabe mission hospital and you go for another one at Nairobi Women’s hospital, there should not be too much variation,” Nyong’o said.
The last review of the Code of Professional conduct and discipline for doctors was in 1999 by the ethics committee.