Fiji College of General Practitioners (logo) and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum
The Fiji College of General Practitioners said it knew of only one medical center that had an agreement between mentor and mentee that upon termination of the relationship a specification of the future location of the solo practice of the mentee is delimited.
They pointed this out in a statement while responding to comments by Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the revised budget speech when he said there are instances where mentors have coerced doctors under their supervision to sign agreements not to establish their practices. less than 20 kilometers from the clinic of their mentors.
Sayed-Khaiyum says this is outrageous cartelism and must be stopped.
The College of General Practitioners said there is an approved list of mentors made up of senior general practitioners with postgraduate degrees in family medicine or general medicine who fulfill this role and a mentee can choose the mentor of their choice and the list may be expanded if deemed necessary by the Chief Censor.
They say that if mentees are concerned about this issue, they have several options to consider and they will mediate and take corrective action.
The College of General Practitioners adds that a doctor with 15 or 20 years of experience will still have to work under the supervision of a mentor and at the cost of a significant financial sacrifice.
They say younger GPs can apply to become a mentor as the need arises, but there are criteria and professional standards to be met.
The College of General Practitioners says that with a staff of 160 odd members and 20 mentors, an appropriate ratio needs to be addressed and maintained.
They say professional standards need to be addressed.
The College of General Practitioners has also said that the number of mentors in the current roster is sufficient to meet the supply and demand chain.
They add that political interference in this matter is a challenge when new members who strive beyond their professional capacity to expand their entrepreneurial spirit become politically inclined and attempt to impose unwarranted professional changes.
The College of General Practitioners says that the Fiji Doctors and Dentists Act (2010) and the General Practitioners Regulations (2012) cover all these areas more than adequately and if there are professional concerns of the leadership in matters of governance, the College executive should be a party to such negotiations.
The College of General Practitioners is pleased to comply with the new regulations and changes to the law announced.
They add that it’s not too different from the training and mentoring program they had in place and that all applications are reviewed by the Chief Censor and the Board of Censors which includes senior College staff.
The College of General Practitioners also says that the leadership of the College remains proactive with the declared initiative and the allocation of a total of $200,000 to help the general practitioner sector set up practices in rural areas.
Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had said that a doctor with 15 or 20 years of experience would still have to work under the tutelage of a mentor at a significant financial sacrifice. He says this has led to some really bizarre situations and appalling examples of the GP guild protecting its territory.
The Minister says that a public sector physician who wishes to establish a private practice must find another private practitioner who is on the approved list of mentors, which is a very small list established by the College.
Sayed-Khaiyum had also said that a doctor must then work under this mentor for two years before being allowed to start a private practice and that this can be extended for another six months on the recommendation of the mentor.