Report into New Amsterdam deaths completed -Ramsammy
Stabroek News
December 31, 2001

The inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Shahbodeen Kassim and another patient identified only as Mr Chatterpaul at the New Amsterdam Hospital has been completed, according to Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy.

Dr Ramsammy had appointed five doctors, Drs Bud Lee, Deen Sharma, Parlaparti Santosh, Gladstone Mitchell and Dennison Davis, to conduct an inquiry into the two deaths at the public institution.

Dr Ramsammy in a Government Information Agency-organised television interview on Saturday said the doctors submitted their report to him and he would be releasing it after the holidays.

He said that he has read the report but he would have to have further discussions before he makes any disclosure.

The report, Dr Ramsammy said, has made certain recommendations which are not new but are things he had said needed to be done. "But among the recommendations are some more specific things that I have not talked about before and that I will address." The minister said that there were some opinions expressed by the five-man team based on what they found. "Out of this I hope all hospitals....public and private will take me seriously. I want all hospitals to have mortality@ conferences at least monthly, the minister said. The minister added that at these conferences they should examine every death, whether unusual or not.

Dr Ramsammy had insisted that disciplinary action be taken against two doctors at the institution for failing to respond to emergencies in a timely manner on November 24 and December 1.

The first incident involved 25-year-old Kassim who sustained a gunshot wound at the hands of a bandit. He was taken to the hospital and seen by doctors but it took the surgeon more than two hours to get there. He succumbed just prior to surgery. The second case involved an unconscious woman who was not treated promptly.

Mr Chatterpaul died after being admitted to the hospital following surgery for cancer. The surgery was privately done.