Online petition launched for doctor’s licence to be revoked
The African Student Union at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, has launched an online petition for Dr Avinash Sawh, whose racist comments were shared online, to have his medical licence revoked.
In the petition (available online here: https://bit.ly/3nyisyW) said Dr Sawh’s comments, in which he referred to Afro-Trinidadians as ‘monkeys’ and called members of the police service as ‘dunce n***ers’, revealed a prejudicial bias as per the Equal Opportunity Act:
‘The Equal Opportunity Act No. 69 of 2000 prohibits the “discrimination of persons on grounds of sex, race, ethnicity, origin, marital status, religion or disability.”’
‘Dr Avinash Sawh’s recently documented behaviour reveals a prejudicial bias against African nurses and by extension colonial attitudes towards those of African descent, who make up over a third of our population. Racist beliefs like these cannot facilitate a safe working environment for African healthcare professionals and patients.’
The group is calling for Dr Sawh’s licence to be revoked:
‘We call for an end to the tolerance of racist behaviors and ideals within the medical field. We as a NATION must take a FIRM STANCE if we want to see change and create a safe country for us all.’
‘Justice should be executed without bias or delay. We must show ZERO tolerance towards racism in Medicine. Sign this petition if you agree.’
As of this morning, the petition has accumulated 500 signatures.
Dr Sawh was heard on an audio recording asking an employee to mandate that job applicants include a photo, saying patients did not like Afro-Trinidadian nurses.
The Trinidad and Tobago Medical Board has launched an investigation into his statements. Dr Sawh has since issued a public apology for his statements, pledging to undertake sensitisation training as well as carry out charitable work to atone for his actions.
The Trinidad and Tobago Medical Association has condemned the statements, adding that it supports any investigation into the matter.
Dr Sawh’s attorney Martin George said they have requested additional time to respond to the five complaints raised by the Board.