Veterinary Board strengthening policies to meet international standards

The Veterinary Board of Guyana is seeking to strengthen its strategies to ensure services offered benefit Guyanese and mirror international standards.

Chairman of the Board, Dr. Nardeo Bassoodeo, said his team plans to put systems in place which will see veterinarians exhibiting standardised services nationwide, and close gaps hindering the sector.

Chairman of Veterinary Board of Guyana, Dr. Nardeo Bassoodeo

To improve the working standard of Animal Health Assistants, the Board has scheduled a two-day sensitisation workshop for October 28-29. The virtual forum will focus on the legal role and responsibilities of the practitioners.

Dr. Bassoodeo said the health assistants are essential in the profession, since they would complement the work of the veterinarians.

“The workshop is coming at a time when Guyana is moving at a very fast pace both on the local scene and on the international scene. As Guyanese, we should all aim to have a better Guyana and with the Caribbean Community now moving towards a single registration, we should now put our house in order,” Dr. Bassoodeo told DPI on Tuesday.

While the Board is determined to advance its veterinary medicine service, the chairman said it also wants to have improved communication with those involved in human health.

Attorney–at–Law at the Veterinary Board, Mr. Omadatt Chandan

“Many know about the zoonotic disease and pathogens that could affect human, animals and beyond, and they could have devastated impact on the environment-an environment of which we depend on to produce food for the nation and the world. So, with us doing this we would be moving one step closer to make sure that the services provided here in Guyana are of international standards,” the chairman underscored.

Additionally, the Veterinary Board is seeking to revise the Veterinary Act of 2003 to affix regulations which will allow veterinary practitioners to work in a more improved manner.

Attorney–at–Law, Mr. Omadatt Chandan stressed the importance of the two legislations-licensing and registration and the code of practice for veterinarians and animal health assistants.

He said public consultation on the two issues will begin soon.

‘There is need for us to have a code of practice because from time to time, you would hear animal rights organisations complaining about the standard of animal health care. So, there is a need for us to standardise and bring up to a certain standard,” the legal practitioner asserted.

Chairman of the Ethics Committee, Dr. Rennard Overton

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Ethics Committee, Dr. Rennard Overton said since the establishment of the Board earlier this year, there have been about six engagements with members of the public who raised concerns about the quality of animal health care.

“We have dealt with some of those concerns and others are still being addressed…the ethics committee would receive these communications from person in the public and then we would launch an investigation and see what corrective methods, if any, are necessary, to put in place,” Dr. Overton noted.  

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