HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh is prepared to go to court so that pharmacists throughout the country can receive their practising certificates.
On Friday, attorneys for the Health Minister instructed the Pharmacy Board’s president Andrew Rahaman to sign, seal and deliver all practising certificates to the registrar of the board’s council so they can be issued to pharmacists who have paid their fees for the year.
The letter warned of the “impact upon the national health system if pharmacists (who have paid the annual retention fee of $150) do not have their practising certificates issued to them by January 14, 2023…”
The minister’s attorneys said they were prepared to approach the High Court for an injunction to secure compliance by midnight on January 14.
Rahaman is also treasurer of the Pharmacy Board.
Friday’s letter referred to a newspaper article published on Thursday on the debt woes facing the board.
Attorney Vishma Jaisingh, of the law firm Fitzwilliam, Stone, Furness-Smith and Morgan, said pharmacists were advised to pay a fee higher than the $150 annual retention fee for their practising certificates which was illegal and ultra vires the Pharmacy Board Act.
The letter alleged actions which constituted “illegal interference and unlawful obstruction” which posed a threat and danger to the “country’s public and private health-care system.”
The instruction to Rahaman was to print and deliver all practising certificates for January 15-2023-January14-2024, for those pharmacists who paid their $150 fee.
A separate letter was sent to the registrar of the Pharmacy Board’s council.
The Pharmacy Board Act sets out the fee to be paid by pharmacists for practising certificates. Pharmacists cannot practise if they do not have a valid certificate and are liable, on conviction, to a fine of $1,000.
All practising certificates will expire on Saturday.
Jaisingh said the minister had received complaints from pharmacists that they paid their annual renewal registration fee but have not received their certificates.