Child sex-offender may still be practising in Guyana
Child sex-offender Dr Vishwamintra Persaud, who was fired from the Georgetown Public Hospital when his conviction on a child sex offence in New York was revealed, may still be practising, the Guyana Medical Council fears.
The Council has since issued a public warning against him and three other doctors, including Dr John Austin, a Parliamentarian with the main opposition People’s National Congress/Reform. The others are Dr Abdul Mohamed Hafiz and Dr Abdul Wahab.
The Medical Council says that the four doctors are not licensed to practice medicine and anyone seen or attended to by these doctors should contact the Council.
Chairman of the Council, Dr Sheik Amir, told Kaieteur News that Council has “verbal” reports that the doctors are practising in the country even though they are not registered to do so.
“This is illegal; we are doing this to protect the public,” Dr Amir declared.
“The Guyana Medical Council is not here to be nice to doctors,” he added.
Dr Amir said that since the Council has verbal reports that the doctors are seeing patients, it is the Council’s right to inform the public.
According to Dr Amir, every February, the doctors are licensed and registered to practise in Guyana. The four doctors are not on that list.
Dr Persaud was convicted in New York for sexual misconduct on a girl and pleaded guilty after which his license was revoked. He returned to Guyana and found work at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), but it was only after Kaieteur News revealed Dr Persaud’s conviction that he was eventually fired.
Health Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, had apologised “to all persons we have offended by the decision of the GPHC to offer employment to Dr. Persaud.”
“While at the time we only considered the benefits of adding another experienced doctor to our roster at the GPHC, we could have been more careful in considering the circumstances,” Dr Ramsammy had stated.
At least one of the other three doctors fingered by the Medical Council has come out to defend himself.
Parliamentarian Dr John Austin sought to link the decision of the Medical Council to list him among those not licensed to practice to matters he has before the Council.
He told Kaieteur News that he has a court matter that has not yet been determined and he had refused to deal with the matter before the Council without his lawyer, as was being demanded by the Council.
“The Medical Council rules cannot be higher than the constitution of Guyana,” Austin said.
Dr Austin was educated at Lagos University, Nigeria where he did his undergraduate training in medicine.
He subsequently became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Qualified in Medicine, he served as a Regional Health Officer and Superintendent of the New Amsterdam Hospital.
Dr Amir said that the “bottom-line” behind the decision of the Council to warn the public against Dr Austin and the three others is not about matters they might have before the Council but over the fact that they have not met the requirements to gain a license to practise.
Dr Amir was adamant that there was no vindictiveness involved in the decision of the Council.
“This is not a ‘by the way thing;’ this is a professional thing,” Dr Amir said of the medical profession.
He emphasised that the only reason why the public was warned against the doctors is because they are not licensed to practice.
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