Doctor faces two months suspension
… Tortured teen probe
Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, says that he has read the report from the Guyana Medical Council and the recommendation that Police Surgeon Dr. Mahendra Chand be suspended for two months.
The Minister told Kaieteur News yesterday that first, he plans to contact the doctor and let his recommendations be known.
He said that afterwards he would then contact the Ministry of Home Affairs since the doctor was seconded by that Ministry to do police medical reports.
The Minister further explained that finally, contact must be made with the Georgetown Public Hospital because the doctor still receives a salary from that institution. Dr Ramsammy said that he would make contact with all the parties within 48 hours and his recommendations would be made public.
This newspaper understands that the Council members have stuck to their original decision regarding Dr. Chand’s suspension for what they deemed to be his unprofessional conduct while treating the then 14-year-old torture victim at the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station.
The Guyana Medical Council is an autonomous body set up by an act of Parliament. It is not subject to the dictates of the Minister.
Sources within the Medical Council also sought to clear up the confusion over whether they had received a response from the errant physician.
A member explained that after its investigation, the Medical Council had informed Dr. Chand in writing of its findings and had asked him to respond.
According to the Council member, Dr. Chand responded in writing asking the Council not to sanction him.
After the Council decided upon its two-month suspension, Dr. Chand was again asked to respond in writing to this decision.
According to the Council member, Dr. Chand sent back his original letter to the Council. This reportedly reached the Council ‘late’ on December 29, last.
Kaieteur News had reported that Director of Medical and Professional Services, Dr. Madan Rambarran, had proposed to the Guyana Medical Council that Dr. Chand be given “a stern warning,” rather than being suspended.
He has also suggested that the physician, undergo a course on medical ethics, while acknowledging that the doctor’s performance “did not conform to the expected standards of ethical and professional practice”.
In his letter to the Medical Council, Dr. Rambarran stated that he had “noted the conclusions of the Medical Council in its inquiries into the conduct of Dr Mahendra Chand in respect of his attendance of Mr. T. Thomas who was allegedly tortured. “Together with Mr. Bert Whyte, Personnel Manager, GPHC, I spoke with Dr. Chand about this matter.
“I do agree that Dr. Chand’s performance did not conform to the expected standards of ethical and professional practice. However, Dr. Chand has never previously had any negative reports nor was he investigated for any practice- related issues.
Meanwhile, Kaieteur News was told that some Council members have also suggested that Dr. Chand be “rotated back” through the hospital and another doctor be assigned to his position as Police Surgeon.
It has also been suggested that there be a rotation of competent doctors to the post of Police Surgeon.
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.