By Leonard Gildarie
The Medical Council of Guyana has broken its five-year silence on the death of a 74-year-old Edward Subryan.
The grandfather died on February 1, 2014 at the Woodlands Hospital with the family filing a complaint with Council shortly after about the quality of service offered by the doctors and the hospital.
The then Chair of the Council, Dr. Vivienne Mitchell, in a scathing report blasted the hospital and two doctors, Dr. Surendra Persaud and Dr. Kumar, and ordered they settle out-of-court with the family.
The Council recommended that the two doctors also face appropriate disciplinary action and said that they did not even meet the standards of being doctors.
Yesterday, after weeks of reports in the media, the Council formally offered condolences to the family.
It said that a court case had set aside decisions and opinions of the Council in 2015 and that a new hearing is now underway.
The disclosures by the Council would raise questions about the operations of the Council as it has regulatory powers to sanction doctors.
Family members said that they have been going back and forth to the Council without any definitive word on the matter.
They were constantly being told over the five years that the matter is being handled by the Council.
According to the Council, which is chaired by Dr. Navindranauth Rambaran, the Medical Council of Guyana (the Council) is “obliged to make the following statement in respect of the complaint lodged by the personal representatives of the late Mr. Edward Subryan against doctors who managed Mr. Subryan prior to his passing on February 1, 2014.”
The Council said it is taking the opportunity to convey formally its condolences at the loss of Subryan and the grief that his family has endured.
“In light of the complaint lodged, Mr. Subryan’s case was first considered by the Disciplinary Committee of the Council (the Disciplinary Committee) where a decision was arrived at on June 1, 2015 based on its findings.”
However, the Council said, the decision was challenged in the High Court and quashed under review by then Chief Justice (ag.) Ian Chang, SC, CCH on June 17, 2015.
The Council did not explain the grounds of the challenge and why it never formally engaged the family of Subryan.
It had this to say, “The effect of the High Court’s ruling is that the decision on June 1, 2015 has been nullified as well as all prior opinions related to and/or which informed that decision. As a consequence, Mr. Subryan’s case has been remitted to the Disciplinary Committee for hearing de novo (a new hearing).”
The Council said that the re-hearing of Subryan’s case commenced on December 11, 2019, just over two months ago.
The Council said it will not be speaking on the matter.
“In order to facilitate this process and to enable fairness with acute transparency by the Disciplinary Committee in its deliberations, the Council is precluded and refrains itself from proffering definitive statements since the case is under active consideration.”
According to the initial report of Dr. Mitchell, after perusing available records, in January 2014, Subryan, from Enterprise, East Coast Demerara, was rushed to the private hospital after feeling unwell. There was no internal bleeding and nothing serious.
Doctors ordered a colonoscopy. During the examination, which involved sending a camera via the rectum, the man’s colon was perforated.
The investigation by Dr. Mitchell blazed the doctors for not providing proper post-colonoscopy care. The repair of Subryan’s colon appeared not to have been done properly and he developed sepsis.
The family claimed they asked questions and were given different answers at different times.
He died subsequently.
According to the post mortem report, Subryan’s chest cavity was filled with pus, a clear sign of sepsis.
Dr. Mitchell determined that the two doctors did not do proper post-colonoscopy checks and there were other records that should have been checked in keeping with proper medical procedures.
Several families are now coming forward, claiming malpractice at a number of private hospitals.
Not only are patients allegedly being sent for tests they may not require, but there are claims of unnecessary operations.
There are even accusations that two private hospitals are forcing mothers to undergo caesarian operations (c-sections) in a money-making racket. One c-section can cost $300,000 on average.
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