Monrovia — The Liberia Medical & Dental Council (LMDC) and partners have launched the country's first code of conduct for health practitioners. The document is intended to guide all health professionals as well as those intending in venturing into the profession in the country.
Giving a clear meaning of the Code on Wednesday, April 10, the LMDC's Chairperson, Dr. Linda Birch, said the document will set the standard expected of healthcare providers. According to Dr. Birch, the Code of Conduct describes the behavior and attitude that are to be projected by all health practitioners.
The LMDC's Chairperson said her institution will carry out a thorough assessment of health institutions in making sure they abide by the codes.
"This document will serve as guidance for us all. We are going to make sure every health facility operating in this country is fully registered with us and meets all the necessary criteria to practice in this country in line with this Code of Conduct," Dr. Birch vowed.
Speaking further, the LMDC head said with the launching of the codes, the Council will start taking drastic actions against unlicensed health operators.
"It is illegal to be practicing as a health practitioner or operator without a license. You will be punished by this body in accordance with this Code of Conduct", she noted.
Dr. Birch at the same time urged all healthcare professionals operating in Liberia to get a broad knowledge on the health professionals' code of conduct in order to know what to and not to do when dealing with patients.
Performing the launching exercise on behalf of Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Deputy Health Minister for Planning and Research A. Vaifee Tulay urged health practitioners in Liberia to work in line with the Code.
According to Dep. Min. Tulay, the prerequisite for any health professional is to have his/her license. According to him, government will take key action against unlicensed health professionals.
"Nobody will be qualified to be a doctor or nurse when he/she does not have a valid license to practice. You cannot be calling for increment in salary when you are not upholding your oath or this code of conduct," Minister Tulay stated.
The Deputy Health Minister for Planning and Research urged all health practitioners to fully get involved in the implementation of the Code. According to him, the implementation of the document rests upon everybody in the health sector.
Making remarks also at the launch, the House of Representatives' Committee Chairman on Health, Representative Joseph Somwarbi lauded the LMDC for drafting the code of conduct for health practitioners. The Nimba County lawmaker assured LMDC of government's full support as they start the implementation of the document.
According to him, the Code of Conduct will set the stage for improving the country's health sector. Rep. Somwarbi, however, challenged LMDC to hold health workers liable for negligent which will put the lives of their patients at risk.