Medical and Dental Practitioners Act


Published: 1964-03-16

Subscribe to a Global-Regulation Premium Membership Today!

Key Benefits:

Subscribe Now for only USD$20 per month, or Get a Day Pass for only USD$4.99.
Medical and Dental Practitioners Act


2008 Revised Edition

CAP. 28.12






MEDICAL AND DENTAL
PRACTITIONERS ACT

Medical and Dental Practitioners Act CAP. 28.12 Arrangement of Sections





2008 Revised Edition


Page 3



MEDICAL AND DENTAL PRACTITIONERS ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section
1 Short title................................................................................................................ 5
2 Interpretation.......................................................................................................... 5
3 Register .................................................................................................................. 5
4 Conditional registration of medical practitioners................................................... 6
5 Person conditionally registered deemed to be registered medical

practitioner only while a member of staff of hospital, etc. .................................... 6
6 Cancellation of conditional registration................................................................. 6
7 Qualification for registration as medical practitioner ............................................ 7
8 Registration of dental practitioner ......................................................................... 7
9 Conditional registration of medical officer............................................................ 7
10 Person conditionally registered deemed to be registered medical officer

only while a member of staff of hospital, etc......................................................... 7
11 Qualification for registration as medical officer .................................................... 8
12 Registration of dental officer ................................................................................. 8
13 Application for registration.................................................................................... 8
14 Applications to be considered by Senior Medical Officer ..................................... 8
15 Decision of Senior Medical Officer ....................................................................... 9
16 Temporary practising certificate ............................................................................ 9
17 Restriction on registration...................................................................................... 9
18 Certificate of registration ....................................................................................... 9
19 Erasure of name of person ceasing to practise, etc. ............................................. 10
20 Amendment of register where person wrongfully registered or where

particulars incorrect ............................................................................................. 10
21 Additional degrees, diplomas, etc., may be entered in register............................ 10
22 Removal of name after removal from other registers .......................................... 11
23 Restriction on accepting payment of fees, etc...................................................... 11
24 Licences for persons registered in Part V to practise medicine etc...................... 11
25 Erasure of name of person contravening section 23 ............................................ 12
26 Power to erase names from register ..................................................................... 12
27 Right of appeal to High Court.............................................................................. 12
28 Application for re-registration ............................................................................. 13

Arrangement of Sections CAP. 28.12 Medical and Dental Practitioners Act





2008 Revised Edition Page 4




29 Power to remove names from Parts IV, V and VI of register ..............................13
30 Re-registration......................................................................................................13
31 Removal of names of practitioners becoming certified mental patients ..............13
32 Publication of persons registered .........................................................................14
33 Unregistered persons may not practise and persons may not profess

qualifications which they do not hold ..................................................................14
34 Unregistered persons not to sue for fees ..............................................................15
35 Regulations...........................................................................................................15
36 Exemptions from provisions of Act .....................................................................16

Supporting Documents

ENDNOTES 17

Medical and Dental Practitioners Act CAP. 28.12 Section 1





2008 Revised Edition


Page 5



MEDICAL AND DENTAL PRACTITIONERS ACT

AN ACT TO MAKE PROVISION FOR THE REGISTRATION OF
MEDICAL AND DENTAL PRACTITIONERS AND FOR MATTERS

CONNECTED THEREWITH1

Commencement [16th March 1964]

1 Short title
This Act may be cited as the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act.

2 Interpretation
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —

“dental officer” means a person registered as a dental officer under this Act;

“diploma” includes any degree, fellowship, membership, licence, authority to
practice, letters testimonial, certificate or other status document;

“medical officer” means a person registered as a medical officer under this
Act;

“the register” means the Medical and Dental Register to be kept under this
Act;

“registered” means entered in the register;

“the Senior Medical Officer” means the person for the time being
performing the duties of Senior Medical Officer in and for Tuvalu.

3 Register
(1) The Senior Medical Officer shall form and keep, in the manner hereinafter

appearing, a register to be known as the “Medical and Dental Register”.

Section 4 CAP. 28.12 Medical and Dental Practitioners Act





2008 Revised Edition Page 6




(2) The register shall be divided into six Parts and the Senior Medical Officer
shall enter the name and the qualifications together with any other particulars
he may require —
(a) in Part I, of persons conditionally registered as medical practitioners;
(b) in Part II, of persons registered as medical practitioners;
(c) in Part III, of persons registered as dental practitioners;
(d) in Part IV, of persons conditionally registered as medical officers;
(e) in Part V, of persons registered as medical officers;
(f) in Part VI, of persons registered as dental officers.

4 Conditional registration of medical practitioners
Subject to section 17 every person shall be entitled to be registered conditionally as
a medical practitioner in Part I of the register if he satisfies the Senior Medical
Officer that he is the holder of a diploma which would, if any further qualifications
required by the provisions of the Imperial Act entitled the Medical Act 1956 or any
enactment amending or replacing the same for the time being in force, were
fulfilled, entitle him to be registered as a fully registered medical practitioner in the
register kept in accordance with such Act:

Provided that a person who might so be entitled to be registered in the United
Kingdom by virtue of a diploma granted otherwise than by a University or
Institution in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand or the Republic of
Ireland shall not be entitled as of right to be registered in the register, but the Senior
Medical Officer, if he thinks fit, may require that the holder of any such diploma,
before being conditionally registered, shall attend a course in medicine and surgery
and pass examinations therein.

5 Person conditionally registered deemed to be registered medical
practitioner only while a member of staff of hospital, etc.
A person who is for the time being conditionally registered as a medical practitioner
under section 4 shall be deemed to be a medical practitioner registered in Part II of
the register while he is a member of the staff of an institution or hospital which on
the recommendation of the Senior Medical Officer has been approved by the
Minister by notice but shall not otherwise be deemed to be such registered medical
practitioner.

6 Cancellation of conditional registration
(1) The Senior Medical Officer may cancel the conditional registration of any

person he considers not a fit person to be conditionally registered by reason of
any fact to which section 17 applies.

Medical and Dental Practitioners Act CAP. 28.12 Section 7





2008 Revised Edition


Page 7



(2) The Senior Medical Officer shall cancel the conditional registration of any
person upon the registration of that person as a medical practitioner or
medical officer as hereinafter provided.

7 Qualification for registration as medical practitioner
Subject to section 17, every person shall be entitled to be registered as a medical
practitioner in Part II of the register who satisfies the Senior Medical Officer —

(a) that he has been conditionally registered in Part I of the register under
this Act and thereafter has had satisfactory experience of the practice of
surgery and medicine for a period of 1 year in an institution or hospital
approved by the Minister under section 5; or

(b) that he is eligible to be conditionally registered in Part I of the register
under this Act and has had satisfactory experience of the practice of
surgery and medicine outside Tuvalu for a period of 1 year, in an
institution or hospital which in the opinion of the Senior Medical
Officer is at least of equal standard to any institution or hospital
approved by the Minister under section 5; or

(c) that he is eligible to be conditionally registered in Part I of the register
under this Act and has practised medicine and surgery for a continuous
period of 5 years since the date on which he obtained his degree,
diploma or other qualifications.

8 Registration of dental practitioner
Subject to section 17, any person shall be entitled to be registered as a dental
practitioner in Part III of the register who satisfies the Senior Medical Officer that he
holds a degree or diploma or other qualifications in dentistry which would enable
him to be registered in the register kept by the General Dental Council of the United
Kingdom established under the Imperial Act entitled the Dentists Act 1956.

9 Conditional registration of medical officer
Subject to section 17, any person who satisfies the Senior Medical Officer that he
holds a diploma in medicine and surgery granted by the Fiji School of Medicine and
that he is in the employment of the Government or in other employment, not in the
public service, approved by the Minister, shall be entitled to be conditionally
registered as a medical officer in Part IV of the register.

10 Person conditionally registered deemed to be registered medical
officer only while a member of staff of hospital, etc.
A person who is for the time being conditionally registered under section 9 shall be
deemed to be a medical officer registered in Part V of the register while he is a

Section 11 CAP. 28.12 Medical and Dental Practitioners Act





2008 Revised Edition Page 8




member of the staff of an institution or hospital approved by the Minister under
section 5, but shall not otherwise be deemed to be a medical officer so registered.

11 Qualification for registration as medical officer
Subject to section 17, any person shall be entitled to be registered as a medical
officer in Part V of the register who satisfies the Senior Medical Officer that he has
been conditionally registered in Part IV of the register under this Act and thereafter
has had satisfactory experience of the practice of surgery and medicine for a period
of 1 year in an institution or hospital approved by the Minister under section 5:

Provided that any person who at the date of commencement of this Act is qualified
to be conditionally registered under section 9, and who has before that date already
had satisfactory experience of the practice of surgery and medicine for a period of 1
year in such an approved institution or hospital, may be registered as a medical
officer in Part V of the register, without first being conditionally registered under
section 9.

12 Registration of dental officer
Subject to section 17, any person who satisfies the Senior Medical Officer that he
holds a diploma in dental surgery granted by the Fiji School of Medicine and that he
is in service under the Government shall be entitled to be registered as a dental
officer in Part VI of the register.

13 Application for registration
Every person who is entitled to be conditionally registered or registered under this
Act may make application in writing to the Senior Medical Officer to be so
registered and shall at the same time produce the document or documents
confirming or evidencing the qualification or each of the qualifications in respect of
which he seeks to be registered, and shall give notice of his application in such
manner, if any, as may for the time being be prescribed.

14 Applications to be considered by Senior Medical Officer
(1) As soon as may be practicable after any such application has been submitted

to him, the Senior Medical Officer shall consider the application and shall
give such directions in respect thereof as he thinks fit and as he is by this Act
authorised.

(2) The Senior Medical Officer may if he thinks fit require any person to verify
by statutory declaration any statement made by him with respect to any
application before him or with respect to any objection to such application.

Medical and Dental Practitioners Act CAP. 28.12 Section 15





2008 Revised Edition


Page 9



15 Decision of Senior Medical Officer
(1) If the Senior Medical Officer after considering any application as aforesaid is

of the opinion that the applicant is entitled to be registered in the manner
specified in the application he shall thereupon register the applicant in that
manner and shall notify him accordingly.

(2) If the Senior Medical Officer after considering any such application as
aforesaid is of the opinion that the applicant is not entitled to be registered in
the manner specified in the application he shall thereupon refuse to register
the applicant in that manner and shall notify him accordingly.

16 Temporary practising certificate
(1) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Act the Senior Medical

Officer may issue to a person who has applied for registration under this Act a
temporary certificate of permission to practise which shall entitle that person,
pending the consideration of his application, to practise medicine, surgery or
dentistry to the extent he would be entitled if he had been registered in the
manner specified in his application.

(2) Every such certificate shall remain in force until cancelled by the Senior
Medical Officer:

Provided that no such certificate shall in any case remain in force for a longer
period than 6 months from the date of its issue.

(3) The holder of any such certificate shall, while the certificate remains in force,
be deemed for all purposes to be registered in that Part of the register
indicated on the certificate.

(4) The Senior Medical Officer may at any time cancel any temporary certificate
granted under this section and the certificate shall thereupon lapse.

17 Restriction on registration
No person shall be entitled as of right to be registered under this Act if he is not a fit
person to be so registered by reason of the fact that —

(a) he has at any time in any place been convicted of an offence there
punishable by imprisonment for a term of 2 years or upwards; or

(b) he is otherwise not of good fame and character.

18 Certificate of registration
The Senior Medical Officer shall on application in that behalf being made to him at
any time by a person registered in accordance with this Act and on payment of the
prescribed fee, if any, issue to that person a certificate of registration in the
prescribed form, if any.

Section 19 CAP. 28.12 Medical and Dental Practitioners Act





2008 Revised Edition Page 10




19 Erasure of name of person ceasing to practise, etc.
(1) The Senior Medical Officer may at any time send to any person whose name

appears in the register, by registered letter addressed to him at his address as it
appears in the register, an inquiry as to whether he desires to have his name
retained in the register or has ceased to practise.

(2) If no reply to such letter is received within 6 months from the date of posting
thereof, or if the letter is not delivered and is returned to him, the Senior
Medical Officer may remove from the register the name of the person to
whom the letter was sent.

(3) If the Senior Medical Officer is satisfied that any person whose name appears
in the register has died or has permanently left Tuvalu, he may erase the name
of that person from the register.

(4) Any person whose name has been removed from the register in pursuance of
this section of this Act may apply to the Senior Medical Officer to have his
name restored to the register and if the Senior Medical Officer is satisfied that
his name has been removed in error he shall restore the name of that person to
the register.

20 Amendment of register where person wrongfully registered or where
particulars incorrect
(1) If any person’s name has been entered in the register by reason of any false or

fraudulent representation or declaration, made either orally or in writing, the
Senior Medical Officer shall cause the name of that person to be erased from
the register.

(2) If the qualifications or any other particulars appearing in the register in respect
of any person are proved to the satisfaction of the Senior Medical Officer to
be or are to his knowledge false or erroneous in any respect he shall erase
those particulars from the register or otherwise amend the register
accordingly.

(3) The provisions of subsection (2) shall apply notwithstanding the fact that at
the time when the entry in the register was made the person was actually
possessed of the qualifications particulars whereof appear in the register or at
that time the entry was correct.

21 Additional degrees, diplomas, etc., may be entered in register
Any person registered in either Part I, Part II or Part III of the register who obtains
any medical, surgical or dental degree, diploma or other qualifications other than
that by virtue of which he was registered may apply to the Senior Medical Officer to
amend the register so far as it relates to the qualifications of that person; and on any
such application the Senior Medical Officer shall, if satisfied that the applicant is
entitled to the degree, diploma or other qualification in respect of which the

Medical and Dental Practitioners Act CAP. 28.12 Section 22





2008 Revised Edition


Page 11



application is made and that the degree, diploma or other qualification in respect of
which the application is made is of sufficient standing to warrant its being entered in
the register, thereupon insert in the register particulars as to that degree, diploma or
other qualification.

22 Removal of name after removal from other registers
If the Senior Medical Officer is satisfied that the name of any person who has been
registered in Part I, Part II or Part III of the register has since been erased from any
register of medical or dental practitioners in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the
Commonwealth, or in the Republic of Ireland, or in any country in which the person
was granted the degree, diploma or other qualification by virtue of which he was
registered, he may, if he thinks fit, erase that person’s name from the register.

23 Restriction on accepting payment of fees, etc.
No person registered in Part IV, Part V or Part VI of the register shall be entitled to
or shall accept any fee, remuneration or reward in respect of any services performed
by him relating to the practise of medicine, surgery or dentistry other than his
emoluments either as an officer in service under the Government or in respect of any
other employment, not in the public service, which is approved by the Minister:

Provided that this section shall not apply in respect of services performed by any
person registered in Part V of the register under a licence granted to that person by
the Senior Medical Officer under section 24 and in compliance with the conditions,
if any, written on the licence under section 24 (2).

24 Licences for persons registered in Part V to practise medicine etc.
(1) The Senior Medical Officer may grant a licence in such form as may be

prescribed to any person registered in Part V of the register to practise
medicine or surgery for gain otherwise than in the course of employment by
the Government or other employment approved by the Minister under this
Act.

(2) A licence granted under this section may be granted subject to such conditions
as the Senior Medical Officer shall determine which shall be written on the
licence.

(3) The Senior Medical Officer may by notice served by hand or by post on the
licensee revoke a licence granted under this section where he is satisfied that
the licensee has wilfully and without reasonable excuse contravened any
condition written on his licence under subsection (2) or is otherwise not a fit
person to continue to have such a licence.

Section 25 CAP. 28.12 Medical and Dental Practitioners Act





2008 Revised Edition Page 12




(4) Any person whose licence has been revoked under subsection (3) may appeal
against the revocation in writing addressed to the Minister within 3 weeks
after notice of the revocation has been served on him.

(5) The Minister shall consider and determine every appeal under subsection (4)
without unreasonable delay and his decision thereon shall be final.

25 Erasure of name of person contravening section 23
If the Senior Medical Officer is satisfied that any person registered in Part IV, Part V
or Part VI of the register has received any fee, remuneration or reward in
contravention of section 23, he may cause the name of such person to be erased from
the register.

26 Power to erase names from register
(1) If any person who is registered in any Part of the register is convicted of an

offence punishable by imprisonment for a term of 2 years or upwards or is
after due inquiry judged by the Senior Medical Officer to have been guilty of
infamous conduct in any professional respect the Senior Medical Officer may,
if he sees fit, order that the name of any such person be erased from the
register.

(2) In directing that a person’s name shall be erased from the register the Senior
Medical Officer may, if he sees fit, specify a period on the expiration of which
such person may again apply to be registered under the provisions of this Act.

(3) An order made by the Senior Medical Officer under this section shall not take
effect in any case until the expiration of 21 days after the date of the order
and, if within that period the person affected gives due notice of intention to
appeal against the order, shall not take effect until and unless it is confirmed
by the High Court or the appeal is for any reason dismissed by the High
Court.

27 Right of appeal to High Court
Any person whose application for registration is refused under section 15 or whose
conditional registration is cancelled under section 6(1) or whose name has been
erased from the register under sections 20, 22, 25 or 26 may within 21 days of the
date of notification to him of such refusal, cancellation or erasure appeal to the High
Court and on any such appeal the High Court may make such order as it thinks
proper having regard to the merits of the case and the public welfare.

Medical and Dental Practitioners Act CAP. 28.12 Section 28





2008 Revised Edition


Page 13



28 Application for re-registration
(1) Where a person’s application for registration under section 15 has been

refused or a person’s conditional registration has been cancelled under section
6(1) or a person’s name has been erased from the register under sections 20,
22, 25 or 26 the Senior Medical Officer may, subject to any order made under
subsection (2) of section 26 or any order made by the High Court on an appeal
under section 27, refuse to consider any further application for registration by
such person for such time as he thinks fit.

(2) Any person aggrieved by a refusal of the Senior Medical Officer to consider
an application may appeal to the High Court for an order directing the Senior
Medical Officer to consider the application and thereupon the High Court may
make such order on the matter as it thinks fit.

29 Power to remove names from Parts IV, V and VI of register
If any person who is registered either in Part IV, Part V or Part VI of the register
ceases to be employed in service under the Government or in other employment
approved under sections 9 or 23, whether by reason of death, dismissal, resignation
or retirement, the Senior Medical Officer shall thereupon erase the name of the
person from the register:

Provided that this section shall not apply in the case of the dismissal, resignation or
retirement of a person registered in Part V of the register if he has a licence granted
under section 24 or is then granted such a licence but in the case of the subsequent
revocation of the licence the Senior Medical Officer shall thereupon erase his name
from the register unless on the day on which the revocation takes effect such person
is again employed in service under the Government or in other employment
approved under sections 9 and 23.

30 Re-registration
Any person whose name has been erased from the register in accordance with
section 29 may on being re-employed in service under the Government, or in other
employment approved under sections 9 or 23, apply to be registered again under this
Act.

31 Removal of names of practitioners becoming certified mental patients
(1) If any person who is registered under this Act becomes a certified mental

patient he shall thereupon be deemed to have ceased to be so registered.

(2) For the purposes of this section a certified mental patient means —
(a) a person apprehended or admitted to a mental hospital in pursuance of

sections 8, 10, 12, 13, 15 or 16 of the Mental Treatment Act,2 or

Section 32 CAP. 28.12 Medical and Dental Practitioners Act





2008 Revised Edition Page 14




(b) a person confined in a mental hospital, prison or other suitable place of
custody under section 14 of the Mental Treatment Act.

(3) Any person who has ceased to be registered under this Act by virtue of the
foregoing provisions of this section shall not again be registered unless he
satisfies the Senior Medical Officer that his mental condition warrants such
registration.

32 Publication of persons registered
The Senior Medical Officer shall, as at the 30th day of June in each year, prepare a
copy of the register of persons who are registered in Part I, Part II and Part III of the
register and of persons registered in Part V of the register who have licences granted
under section 24, and shall certify it to be a true copy and shall cause it to be
published in the Gazette as soon as practicable after the 30th day of June in the year
to which it relates.

33 Unregistered persons may not practise and persons may not profess
qualifications which they do not hold
(1) Every person commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine of $400 and to

imprisonment for 6 months —
(i) who not being registered or deemed to be registered as a medical

practitioner in Part II of the register or not being registered as a
medical officer in Part V of the register and having a licence
under section 24 practises, professes to practise or publishes his
name as practising medicine or surgery or any branch of
medicine or surgery; or

(ii) who wilfully and falsely takes or uses the name or style of a
physician, surgeon, doctor, licentiate in medicine or surgery,
bachelor of medicine or medical practitioner or any name, title,
addition or description implying that he holds any diploma or
degree in medicine or surgery or in any branch of medicine or
surgery or is otherwise specially qualified to practise medicine or
surgery or any branch of medicine or surgery.

(2) Every person commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine of $200 and to
imprisonment for 3 months —

(i) who not being registered as a dental practitioner in Part III of the
register practises, professes to practise or publishes his name as
practising dentistry or any branch of dentistry; or

(ii) who wilfully and falsely takes or uses the name or the style of a
dentist, dental surgeon, licentiate in dentistry, doctor or bachelor
of dentistry or dental practitioner or any name, title, addition or
description implying that he holds any diploma or degree in

Medical and Dental Practitioners Act CAP. 28.12 Section 34





2008 Revised Edition


Page 15



dentistry or in any branch of dentistry or is otherwise specially
qualified to practise dentistry or any branch of dentistry:

Provided that a medical practitioner or a medical officer not registered as a
dental practitioner may provide dental treatment in any case in which in his
opinion such treatment is urgent or when a dental practitioner registered in
Part III of the register is not conveniently available.

(3) No medical officer or dental officer shall be guilty of an offence under this
section by reason only of the performance of any act in the course of the
practise of his respective profession in accordance with the provisions of this
Act.

34 Unregistered persons not to sue for fees
(1) No person shall be entitled to recover any charge in any court of law in

Tuvalu for any medical or surgical advice or attendance, or for the
performance of any operation, or for any medicine which he has both
prescribed and supplied, unless he was registered or deemed to be registered
as a medical practitioner in Part II of the register or was registered as a
medical officer in Part V of the register and had a licence granted under
section 24 at the time when the charge in respect of which the action is
brought was incurred:

Provided that the exception from the general provision of this subsection of
any person who was registered in Part V of the register and had a licence
granted under section 24 shall not apply where the charge in question was for
anything done by such a person in wilful contravention of any condition
written on his licence under section 24(2).

(2) No person shall be entitled to recover any charge in any court of law in
Tuvalu for any dental advice or attendance or for the performance of any
dental operation unless he was registered in Part III of the register at the time
when the charge in respect of which the action is brought was incurred.

35 Regulations
The Minister may make regulations —

(a) regulating the private practice of medicine, surgery, dentistry and any
branch thereof and in particular the fees that may be charged in
connexion therewith;

(b) prescribing anything which may be prescribed;
(c) generally for the better carrying into effect of the provisions, objects

and intentions of this Act.

Section 36 CAP. 28.12 Medical and Dental Practitioners Act





2008 Revised Edition Page 16




36 Exemptions from provisions of Act
Nothing in this Act shall —

(a) apply to, or to any acts of, any physician, surgeon, dentist or other
medical or dental officer serving in any of the armed forces of Her
Majesty or of a friendly power; or

(b) affect the lawful trade, business or occupation of any person for the
time being registered as a pharmacist in the register kept under the
Pharmacy and Poisons Act;3

(c) affect the lawful trade, business or occupation of any dental nurse,
dental hygienist, general nurse, physiotherapist or midwife serving in
any of Her Majesty’s armed forces or in the employment of the
Government or of some institution or hospital approved by the Minister
under section 5; or

(d) affect the lawful trade, business or occupation of any person who has
practised continuously as a midwife in Tuvalu for not less than 5 years
at the 16th day of March 1964.

Medical and Dental Practitioners Act CAP. 28.12 ENDNOTES





2008 Revised Edition


Page 17



ENDNOTES


1 1990 Revised Edition, Cap. 30 – Acts 3 of 1964, 8 of 1971 (Cap. 30 of 1973), 10 of
1975, T.L.N. 13/75, L.N.27/64
2 Cap. 28.16
3 Cap. 28.32