Medical Council recommends that doctor be suspended

December 13, 2009 | By | Filed Under News 

By Michael Jordan

The Guyana Medical Council has recommended that police doctor, Dr. Mahendra Chand, be suspended for his unprofessional treatment of the teen who was tortured while in police custody.

Kaieteur News understands that the Council came to its decision over the weekend, following its investigation which found that Dr. Chand’s actions, while treating the lad, were not in keeping with good medical practice, and not the standard of care one would expect from a medical practitioner.

Before a final decision is made, the physician will have a chance to tell the Council in writing whether there are any mitigating circumstances that could cause the suspension to be lifted.

Meanwhile, Dr. Chand is being taken through “remedial sessions” at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

During its investigation, which concluded two Fridays ago, the Council found that Dr. Chand was guilty of not examining his patient properly, while the lad was in custody at the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station.

The investigation also revealed that the police surgeon had not kept proper records.

According to a source, Dr. Chand had conceded during the hearing that he had acted unprofessionally while treating the then 14-year-old lad, whose head was covered with a bag at the time.

The physician had revealed during a Kaieteur News interview that he never sought to ascertain the patient’s identity.

A medical source had explained that the Council could have given the physician a written sanction, or could have even revoked his medical licence.

Police surgeon and Government Medical Officer, Dr. Mahendra Chand, had stated that a police officer had visited his home on October 29 last and asked him to examine a prisoner at the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station.

Dr. Chand recounted that the prisoner was brought out from the lock-ups with his head concealed.

“His head was covered and I thought that he was just another prisoner in a domestic matter who was brought in with injuries and that the police were trying to conceal his identity. I did not know who I was treating,” Dr. Chand had said.

In responding to criticism from the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA), Dr. Chand stated that he has “always treated patients presented to me with care, sensitivity and concern, whether they be ranks from the Guyana Police Force, detainees from the lockups or prisoners.”

Dr. Chand added that he had “never knowingly or unknowingly encouraged torture, neither have I ever participated in any cover-up.”

Earlier this week, the Home Affairs Ministry released the long-awaited ‘torture report’, which showed the extent to which the then 14-year-old was brutalised.

The report also concluded that some senior police officers, including the Divisional Commander, Paulette Morrison, were aware that the teen had been burnt after being doused with methylated spirits, but she claimed not to know the extent of his injuries.

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