Nov 11, 2010 News
– now working at Georgetown Hospital
The Guyana Medical Council is investigating a Guyanese doctor who allegedly failed to reveal that his medical licence was revoked in the United States following his conviction for a sexual offence against a minor.
The US-trained physician, Dr. Vishwamintra Persaud, has been working at the Georgetown Public Hospital for about eight weeks, allegedly with an expired registration certificate.
He had been ordered to hand in his medical licence and certificate of registration in the United States after his conviction and following a hearing before the Board of Professional Medical Conduct in New York.
Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie confirmed, last night that he is aware of Dr. Persaud’s conviction for the sexual offence.
“I am not in a position to comment on it yet…The Guyana Medical Council is meeting tomorrow (today) and they will decide,” Dr. Ramsammy said.
Kaieteur News understands that the Medical Council was only recently made aware of the situation, since Dr. Persaud had reportedly stated that he had merely been suspended from practice.
After receiving information about his conviction in the US, the Council reportedly wrote to Dr Persaud on Monday and asked him to respond within seven days.
Documents obtained by Kaieteur News show that Dr. Vishwamintra Persaud, formerly of Lot 308 A East 15 Street, New York, was authorised to practise medicine in New York on August 14, 1997, by issuance of licence number 207867.
On April 18, 2008, in the County Court of the state of New York, the physician pleaded guilty to an attempted course of sexual misconduct against a child of the second degree, in violation of New York penal law Section 110 and 130(1) (b); a class E felony.
The incident is said to have occurred in 2003 and ended in 2007.
On June 11, 2008, Dr. Persaud was sentenced to an eight-year order of protection (a term most commonly used in reference to domestic violence, harassment, stalking or sexual assault.)
He was also sentenced to ten years probation, a US$2,500 fine and various fees and surcharges.
During a hearing on November 19, 2008 before the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct, Dr. Persaud admitted that he had committed a crime, but argued that he should not lose his licence because of the exceptional quality of his medical practice and because therapy had transformed him into a person that would not commit a similar act.
“For such an argument to have any chance for success, the evidence must show that the respondent will not commit a similar act in the future,” the Hearing Committee argued.
“The respondent’s evidence does not lead to such a conclusion.”
Arguing further to show why he would not be a threat to his patients, Dr. Persaud had told the Committee that the victim was a child and that his patients were adults.
He also noted that the sexual abuse had not occurred at work.
In addition, the Guyanese physician told the Committee that when the court sentenced him, he was labelled a level one sex offender, which is the lowest level of sex offender, and one who is deemed least likely to commit the offence again.
However, the Committee stated that this “is far from a guarantee of safety.” It said that “the court chose level one when the respondent was still in the beginning stage of therapy.”
The three-member Committee also dismissed the testimony of a therapist who was treating the Guyanese physician and who stated that Dr. Persaud was responding to therapy.
The Committee also rejected arguments by the physician that he was not a threat to his patients.
The documents obtained by Kaieteur News also showed that during the hearing, three of the defendant’s patients praised his work. Dr. Persaud also submitted letters from patients and physicians who lauded his work.
But the Committee concluded that “regardless of how much evidence the respondent has marshaled about the quality of his medical practice, the hearing Committee cannot allow him to practise medicine when the evidence of sexual abuse recidivism is so unimpressive.
“No matter how skilled physician he is, his sexual crime makes him an unacceptable risk to the people of NY York State. His licence must be revoked.”
After the hearing, the State of New York Department of Health ordered the Guyanese physician to hand over his licence and registration certificate to the Board of Professional Medical Conduct.
Dr. Vishwamintra Persaud came into the limelight recently while spearheading a team at the GPHC that had enabled a 19-year-old maternal patient, Shinnel George, who had medical complications, to have a successful delivery.
A statement from the GPHC’s Public Relations Department had said that the patient’s health had worsened following a caesarean section to deliver a baby boy and she was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit after bleeding some two pints of blood into her abdominal cavity.
The medical team which included Dr Persaud, was “aggressive” in managing George’s health and enabling her to survive her ordeal.
Guyanese you are being prostituted by your politicians!
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