Deaths of 3 children at GPHC: 6 months after, Medical Council still to decide on fate of doctors

0

Almost six months have passed since the deaths of three juveniles at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and although there were two independent investigations into those matters that have been concluded, sanctions, if any, are yet to be imposed.

The buck was finally passed to the Guyana Medical Council for it to conduct its own probe into the children’s deaths and this too has been completed. The files were then sent to the Council’s Disciplinary Committee for review but to date, there has been no word as to the next step.

However, Government’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Shamdeo Persaud, who also holds a seat on the Medical Council told Inews that a process is being followed before any revelations can be made about the Council’s decision(s).

“We have a process there. And that process is ongoing. It won’t be right for me to be giving information to anyone except through the right channels. I cannot give you information, it is something that a procedure is in place for, but we will give you the information after it is discussed [with all those involved].”

In May, Chairman of the Guyana Medical Council, Dr Navindranauth Rambarran during an exclusive interview with this publication had confirmed that the Guyana Medical Council concluded its probe into the deaths and the files were sent to the Council’s Disciplinary Committee.

“All I could say on the issue is that the issue is now engaging the Disciplinary Committee at the Medical Council. But the course of natural justice has to take its path. So I cannot comment on that further,” Dr Rambarran had stated at that time.

With regard to the doctors who were found in the initial probe by the hospital to be negligent of following protocol, and who are still on the job, Dr Rambarran also had explained that it is not the role of the Guyana Medical Council to interfere in those operations but rather, the Disciplinary Committee has to do its work.

GPHC, earlier this year, concluded its own probe into the matter, which found that the medical personnel did not follow the established protocol in administering drugs to the three children who died earlier this year.

In March last, Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) of Guyana, Dr Karen Gordon-Campbell, told the media that the doctors who treated the three juvenile leukaemia patients who later died at the GPHC administered the drugs incorrectly. Instead of intrathecal administration of the drug vincristine, they administered it intravenously.

It was this that led to the adverse reactions of those three children and ultimately their deaths.

She explained that investigations revealed that protocols the medical practitioners should have followed would have stipulated which drug has to be administered “when and where”.

Since the deaths occurred, parents and other activists began their calls for the suspension of medical licenses of those doctors responsible for the deaths of seven-year-old Curwayne Edwards on January 14, three-year-old Roshini Seegobin on January 18 and six-year-old Sharezer Mendonca on January 24.