He’s gone, but took nuff, nuff Guyanese money with him

December 16, 2012 | By | Filed Under Features / Columnists, Freddie Kissoon 



There hasn’t been an exception in the reaction among the world of people I interact with who have met my wife. From UG to Kaieteur News, to people I know in business and civil society, to my media colleagues to my entire world of social activism. The response on meeting Mrs. Janet Kissoon is, “How a nice person like you married that crazy guy?” Or it would be, “How do you cope with Freddie Kissoon?” She receives endless variations of that theme.
Would you believe the praise a husband showers on his wife? You are bound to say; “After all he must say those things; it is his wife” They say opposites attract and they are damn right. We are the exact opposite of each other. She did chemistry and project planning and came from a business background. I did history and philosophy and came from nothing.
She is civilized, extremely quiet, soft spoken, tending towards introversion and keeps away from the world of politics. I am still in need of some strong doses of correct behaviour. I’m aggressive, argumentative, loud and inflexible and uncompromising in my resistance when you exploit or abuse me.
My wife is too quiet, so I tend to lend a protective hand. One day we went to this specialist medical institution which is privately-run but housed in the Georgetown Public Hospital. I knew what I was getting into. Lots of people told me about the attitude of the resident specialist. That he is extremely arrogant and contemptuous and condescending in his attitude to Guyanese (he is from the Indian sub-continent) and has a lucrative practice because his charges are enormous. The staff is afraid of him.
One day, Mark Benschop and I were there and we heard a patient complaining to Dr. Gancham Singh, the son of Dr. Nanda Gopaul, about this specialist. When I intervened, Dr. Singh didn’t look too pleased. But the lady subsequently told me that she lives in Berbice and that she would write a letter in the press about him. She never did.
My wife completed her examination, but they mixed up the report. We were in his office for him to interpret the computer reading. He became agitated, condescending and abusive. I jumped from my seat looking like Rasputin with my long hair all over my face and said, “Look, don’t you speak to my wife like that, and you show me some respect, because I am as educated as you are. Furthermore I am out of here; just sign the NIS form.” He refused to sign and don’t let me tell you what happened next. No need to mention that my wife’s NIS form was signed.
While the argument was raging, my wife was pinching my leg to tell me to stop. She always does that and I just ignore her when she does it.
This guy became quite nice to me afterwards. I was with the family at New Thriving celebrating my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday and my 33rd wedding anniversary, which fall on the same day, and he came up to me and asked me to dine with him.
It is amazing how tragic and useless this society, this country has become. I urged the staff at this institution to intervene with the relevant authorities to have this man removed. I complained to doctors and important politicians about his behaviour, but no one wanted to touch him.
Now hear this. Dale Andrews of this newspaper went to see him; after his examination, the cost of the intended operation was nine million. We decided that the State would have to help but even if it did, $9M was an impossible sum for Dale. I went to the medical superintendent of the Georgetown Public Hospital, Dr. Sheik Amir, and left the diagnosis and the cost of the operation with his secretary (never heard back from him).
Then Lady Luck ran in. I showed Dr. Doobay of the Georgetown Public Hospital, the specialist’s report on Dale and the cost of the operation. Dr. Doobay was livid. Dr. Doobay couldn’t believe what he saw. He took Dale into his care and since then (two years ago) Dale has been on the medication regime that Dr. Doobay has prescribed.
Our goodly specialist left Guyana two weeks ago. But he left a stupendously rich man. His earnings of hundreds of millions came not only from his practice. The guy was into different business ventures in Guyana. I conclude with a horrible experience with this man.
The drug, “Lipitor” is universally known to be the substance that reduces cholesterol. It is prescribed all over the world for that purpose.
When Dale and I first went to see him, Dale asked him to write a prescription for “Lipitor.” This is what this man said to us, “Don’t worry with “Lipitor”; that increases your cholesterol. Here, take this prescription and go to (he called the name of the pharmacy) and buy this tablet.
I don’t have to tell you what happened there. Read between the lines. He is gone, but he left with plenty of Guyanese money. But that was not the tragedy for me. It was how this country has become a nation of the worst sheep in the world. This foreigner came, abused the people of this country, and no one wanted to expose him. Fear was the key.

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