Sunday, December 17, 2017

Cocaine surgery: Medical Board must not stay silent, says Amery

The Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago must not be silent and has a critical role to play in determining whether there was any breach in medical practice when a prominent surgeon failed to alert the police after removing cocaine pellets from a patient, said Diego Martin Central MP Dr Amery Browne.

The Express exclusively reported that a prominent surgeon at a private hospital on the East-West Corridor conducted surgery on a man and removed some 17 cocaine pellets from his system.

Neither the doctor nor the hospital informed the police and the man is now resting comfortably at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex after being transferred there on December 30.

“The Medical Board must have a role to play. An urgent investigation is essential not just by the police,” said Browne.

He said, based on the Express report, there were facts that must be probed.

“The cocaine trade continues to flourish in Trinidad and Tobago and clearly for this industry to be doing so well as it is doing it will be receiving assistance by a wide range of institutions and every single sector in this country,” said Browne.

“This most recent incident makes it clear that the medical practice and the health sector are not exceptions to this reality,” he added.

“I view anyone who assists or facilitates the cocaine industry to be just as bad as a mass murderer or a serial killer and society’s response to such transgressions should be very severe,” Browne said.

He said he was very disappointed with the comments of Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan on the matter, who said that his ministry cannot take action on the case.

Browne said this case and any issue relating to crime should not be treated with “kids gloves”.

He said further that society was now trained to view crime as an issue where only the lowest level of criminals are caught and be made to account whilst the big fishes escape.

“I call for the police to conduct its swift and efficient investigation and not one of those investigations that drag out with no conclusion as we have seen in the past and in particular with cases involving high profile individuals bearing in mind that if an ordinary humble citizen had found cocaine at the side of the road and failed to report it they would have been jailed already,” said Browne.