– court overturns decision of Medical Council
There is a new twist in the story involving the death of an Enterprise man back in February 2014, at a private city hospital.
The Medical Council of Guyana, chaired by Dr. Shoba Gobin in 2015, took a decision to sanction Dr. Surendra Persaud, a surgeon that once worked right at her Woodlands Hospital for his alleged role in the death of Edward Subryan, 74.
The problem is, she was one of the doctors who looked at the patient before he died.
Dr. Persaud successfully challenged the decision of the Medical Council on the grounds that Dr. Gobin had participated in the treatment of Subryan at Woodlands Hospital while he was a patient there.
In June 2015, almost a year and half after the death of Subryan, Justice Ian Chang agreed that there was a clear conflict of interest in Dr. Gobin sitting on the Council as Chair and overseeing a matter that occurred at her hospital.
Both Dr. Gobin and Dr. Sheik Amir were named by Dr. Persaud in his court action to overturn the sanctions by the Medical Council.
Dr. Amir was another doctor who Dr. Persaud said was part of a medical team that treated the patient.
Dr. Gobin is said to be the Resident Anesthetist at the Woodlands Hospital.
As a result, the Medical Council’s decision to sanction Dr. Persaud was set aside by the court.
The case involving Subryan has brought the spotlight sharply down on the operations of private hospitals in Guyana.
Subryan’s case has raised startling questions about the independency of the Medical Council and whether doctors were recusing themselves in cases where there would be a conflict of interest, like in this case.
The Medical Council has sweeping powers and can halt the practise of doctors by taking away licences.
The man’s family said that they have been running back and forth to the Council since 2014 to get justice.
They were being told that the Council was handling the matter.
It was only last week that the Council formally expressed condolences to the family of Subryan– more than five years later.
The Medical Council, in a statement, did not explain why it did not manage to resolve the matter between June 2015 and now.
It was only in December that another hearing started, the Council announced.
Family members said they were never informed and believed deeply that the matter is being covered up.
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. Persaud and Dr. Kumar, and ordered that 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.
According to the Council last week, which is chaired by Dr. Navindranauth Rambaran, 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.
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 standard 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, which 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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