There should be an impartial investigation
Stabroek News
December 6, 2001

Dear Editor,

I have today seen in Stabroek News 4th December, an article to the effect that the relatives of an unfortunate individual who succumbed at the New Amsterdam Hospital have rejected the Chief Medical Officer's report. That is a right which must always be upheld.

What however is not a right is for the Minister of Health who merely has a qualification in Biochemistry to reject the report of Dr Cummings and pontificate on the esoteric area of medicine.

I vividly recall when Pauline Small died there was a kangaroo tribunal at the Georgetown Hospital. Individuals who were intimately involved in her surgery which preceded her demise sat on the tribunal. In the result, the kangaroo tribunal imposed sanctions on the nurses including the unlawful attempt to withhold salaries while those whom an independent and impartial tribunal might have found culpable remained and remain untouched.

All these matters should be investigated by independent and impartial bodies. They are not matters on which non-doctors should pontificate and political heads should demit office if they cannot grapple with the complexities of policy formulation.

We do not consecrate the rights of individuals by denigrating qualified individuals. We do not move society forward by adherence to the doctrine that the unqualified are the most qualified to be given contracts and make utterances for there are matters which are much more fundamental at stake but in the instant case it is the parlous state of our health services.

Yours faithfully,

Walter Ramsahoye