Dec 29, 2009 News Comments Off on Final day for doctor’s response to Medical Council
… Tortured Teen
By Fareeza Haniff
Today is the final day for Police surgeon, Dr. Mahendra Chand, to send his response to the Guyana Medical Council.
This is according to Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, who told Kaieteur News yesterday that upon hearing the presentation by the police doctor, the council was not convinced that no action should be taken.
Taking this into consideration, the council then asked the doctor to put in writing what took place during his examination of the tortured teen and to explain why he thinks that they (the Medical Council) should not take action or what kind of action should be taken against him.
It was also noted that the persons with whom the doctor had worked with are being asked to give their views on what action should or should not be taken against the doctor. Thus far, Dr. Chand has not sent any response to the council, and according to the Health Minister, he (Dr. Chand) has until today to do so.
Dr. Chand is the police doctor who treated the tortured 15-year-old boy while he was in police custody.
Minister Ramsammy explained that if Dr. Chand responds to the council, then it will be examined, recommendations will be made and the council will then send their recommendations to him (the Health Minister).
And even if Dr. Chand does not respond to the Guyana Medical Council, recommendations will still be made by the medical council on what action should be taken against him, Minister Ramsammy told this newspaper.
It will then be up to the Health Minister to approve or reject the recommendations.
Earlier this month, Kaieteur News reported that the medical council was still carrying out investigations into the actions of the police doctor.
Contrary to reports that the council has recommended that Dr. Chand be suspended, Minister Ramsammy had explained that he was informed by the Chairman of the Council that investigations are still ongoing and the council is still to make a recommendation on what action should be taken against the council.
However, if the council is satisfied that something was not done in the best interest of the teen, the council can do one of three things – they can take away the license of the doctor, suspend him for a certain period of time or they can rebuke him by informing him that he acted wrongfully and he will be allowed to continue his practice under some scrutiny.
According to Dr. Ramsammy, the medical council is being cautious in the sense that it is giving the doctor all opportunity to explain himself so that persons cannot argue that the council acted arbitrarily and a court cannot state that they did not act in a fair and transparent manner.
In the past, when the medical council had acted, some doctors resorted to court action against the council, preventing them from executing the recommendations that were made.
Last year November, Minister Ramsammy signed new regulations under which physicians must act. The regulation was gazette as ‘The code of ethics for medical practitioners.’
In this regard, Dr. Ramsammy will act based on the recommendations made by the council and his actions will be defined by the code of ethics for medical practitioners.
Police surgeon and Government Medical Officer, Dr. Mahendra Chand, had told Kaieteur News 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.
The physician had revealed during a Kaieteur News interview that he never sought to ascertain the patient’s identity. 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.
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