–as House passes new Nurses and Midwives Bill
THE Nurses and Midwives Bill 2022 was on Tuesday passed in the National Assembly, officially paving the way for the creation of an enhanced regulatory system for nurses, midwives and nursing assistants in Guyana.
The bill, which was first tabled back in April, makes way for persons to be registered and licensed before they could practise nursing, midwifery and specialist nursing in Guyana.
The passage of the bill also sets out the application process for licensing and also indicates that it could be refused, revoked or suspended.
When the bill was presented for its second and final reading on Tuesday, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, S.C., told the House that the former administration after being defeated by a no-confidence motion went to the National Assembly on January of 2019, debated and passed the Nurses and Midwives Act of 2019.
This, Nandlall said, was done in the absence of the then People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) opposition.
In view of this, the Attorney General said the 2019 Act should be deemed null and void, and it is against this background that a repeal is necessary.
He said: “That law is invalid, it is null, it is void and it is of absolutely no effect and that is why Mr. Speaker, we are here today with this bill… we have to put a repeal clause in it for the record because the current defective bill purports to be on its face, a law of Guyana and a court has not pronounced upon it, notwithstanding the fact that it is null, void and of no effect.”
The new bill, the Attorney General said, provides a necessary infrastructure for nurses and midwives.
Government Member of Parliament (MP), Dr Vishwa Mahadeo, said that the bill is a comprehensive one which caters for the establishment of a Nurses and Midwives Council.
In addition to this, he said considering that the profession is a fast-paced one, the bill caters for the continuous medical education of nurses in the country.
Dr Mahadeo went on to say that the bill is necessary and will see the nursing profession in the country moving forward.
There will also be the formation of a five-member disciplinary committee, which will handle complaints of professional misconduct against nursing personnel, among other things.