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Doctor Appears In Court In Bid To Secure Registration

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

A PHYSICIAN appeared in the Court of Appeal yesterday hoping to obtain a declaration that the Bahamas Medical Council should allow his registration to practice privately without any restrictions attached.

Dr Mocumba Miller and his lawyer, Nathaniel Dean, argued before Justices Anita Allen, Christopher Blackman and Stanley John that this should be the case in view of his client’s qualifications. He said that his client had completed the supervised-training requirements set out by the medical council.

In dismissing the appeal, the judges noted that not only was the matter not properly before the court, but that it had no jurisdiction to make the declarations that the appellant sought.

Mr Dean spoke to The Tribune following the ruling for a response to the court’s ruling.

“I’m abiding by the court’s ruling but the problem is there is no further appeal,” he said, noting that the appellate court was the last court for hearing such matters.

At this stage, however, he said he will consult with his client on what he will do, but noted that his client’s qualifications are “far and beyond what is required but once he met the goal post, they (BMC) kept changing it”.

When contacted, Dr Miller admitted his disappointment with the decision but added that he would comply with the court to seek clarification from the council regarding the condition it stipulated.

BMC lawyer Khalil Parker told The Tribune that the physician, if Dr Miller satisfies the requirements set out by the council, will “eventually” be able to obtain a licence to practice independently.

Yesterday, Mr Parker raised a preliminary objection to the proceedings on the basis that the appeal before the court was not valid because it appealed a decision made by the BMC in October 2013 that was made redundant by a subsequent decision a month later.

The BMC refused his registration seeking a licence to practice medicine independently. This decision was appealed on the basis that Dr Miller was being made to repeat the requirements despite his evaluations showing that he had passed them.

In November, they approved the registration on the condition that he practice, for a limited time, under a consulting physician under the Public Hospital Authority.

Before addressing the latter point, the court – having reviewed the documents – agreed that the appeal had been inappropriately filed, as the October decision was made redundant.

Mr Dean, however, argued that the matters in question were still the same.

In turn, the court said that the BMC had the authority to make the decision based on section 9 (1) of the Medical Act.

Mr Dean said that they were seeking the court’s discretion in this regard because the decision of the BMC was not made reasonably given the evaluation and appraisal reports that spoke to his client satisfying the criteria set out by the BMC.

However, the judges directed counsel to section 23 of the Act which refers to the appellate court’s jurisdiction in such matters. They further noted that this argument was not set out in the appeal filed, nor were any affidavits made by the consulting physicians that the appellant trained under.

The Medical Act was amended this year.

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