ALL Medical Practitioners
: The Medical Board of
Trinidad and Tobago
: Sick Leave
Certificates and other matters which
have ethical and legal implications
Having regard to a number of enquires, Medical Practitioners are
SICK LEAVE CERTIFICATION
of the following:
- A Certificate for Sick leave may be issued in circumstances where a Doctor/Patient
relationship exists and where it is determined that a condition/disease exists which‚
in the interest of the patient‚ will be better served by absence from work and
physical/health welfare of the community or other persons in the workplace is
- It is within the right of the employer to (where some suspicion exists or otherwise)
question‚ seek more information or (after proof of fraudulent certification)
deny the employee the application for sick leave. It is also within the right of the
employer‚ in questionable circumstances‚ to seek a further opinion
- Where there is some evidence that the validity of sick leave certificate is in
question, it is within the right of the employer to enter a complaint to the Medical
Board of Trinidad and Tobago for further inquiry.
- The foregoing notwithstanding‚ in certain circumstances‚ a case may be
(in a Court of Law) for fraud against either or both parties. (
The conduct of an
inquiry by the Board into a matter of this nature is not contingent on a
guilt in a court of law but rather is to be conducted as an independent
the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago).
- The issue of a false sick leave certificate is in breach of the Medical Board Act
(Section 24  [c]). It is therefore
illegal to issue a sick
inconsistent with the requirements of paragraph 1 above.
- Furthermore‚ the Medical Board Act (Section 24 
[c]) specifies that a medical
practitioner shall be deemed to be guilty of
infamous or disgraceful conduct who
knowingly gives a false sick leave certificate.
Such conduct therefore is unethical
- Where there is proof that a medical practitioner has knowingly issued a false sick
leave certificate‚ such practitioner will be liable to the sanctions as provided for
under Section 24  of the Medical Board Act namely:
- Censure or reprimand
- Suspension for a period not exceeding two years; or
- Erasure from the Register/revocation of his/her temporary licence as the case
Where after due enquiry the practitioner has been deemed guilty of infamous or
conduct‚ such finding will form part of the permanent records of the
licensee (and will of necessity have to be part of the information that will
in a letter of good standing - which may be required by other
registration or professional
The issue of a false sick leave certificate has been deemed to be serious
misconduct by the court.
Where a medical practitioner seeks to extract from another practitioner a sick leave
certificate in circumstances where the conditions are not fulfilled‚ such practitioner
requesting the certificate could be deemed guilty of infamous or disgraceful
Section 24  [i] of the Medical Board Act and be subject to the
sanctions of Section 24  of the said Act.
ABONDONMENT‚ NEGLIGENCE AND GROSS
Medical Practitioners are strongly advised that every effort should be made to
to best of their ability – that medically challenged persons are not
disadvantaged in any way
or their health status compromised.
Practitioners are further advised to be circumspect in their actions which can
lead to allegations of either (i) abandonment of patients as provided
for in the
Medical Board Act (section 24  [b] ) or (ii) of (
Even more seriously‚in given circumstances‚
some actions can be deemed to be
those of gross medical negligence or manslaughter
These guidelines are issued by the Council of the Medical Board of Trinidad and
Tobago with a view to guiding and assisting Medical Practitioners in the interest of
own professional safety and holds itself available to offer further guidance and
Members are also urged to seek‚ and should avail themselves of advice from the
Medical Protection Society.
In the interest of ethical practice.