Actor, Health Minister file complaints against ‘racist’ doc
Attorney Martin George is today submitting responses to the TT Medical Board on the five complaints made against south doctor Avinash Sawh, now facing possible disciplinary action for his recent incendiary comments.
Today is the deadline which the Board has set for the receipt of the responses.
George confirmed the situation to Guardian Media over the weekend and yesterday.
Sawh of Sawh’s Medical Associates was catapulted into the spotlight last month following a social media leak of a recording of him verbally abusing a female employee, using derogatory, discriminatory and racist language.
The employee has since left his employ.
Many have called for him to be removed from the profession.
Apart from the heavy social media fire on the matter including from PNM Women’s League, Government requested the TT Medical Authority and Medical Board of TT (MBTT) probe the matter and take any necessary action.
The MBTT discussed the matter on November 11.
That same day Sawh apologised, seeking forgiveness.
But the Board on November 12 stated it strongly condemns any sort of racial discrimination, racial slurs or verbal abuse by registered medical practitioners. The Board stated these actions can be potentially construed as infamous and disgraceful conduct on the part of a doctor as defined in the Medical Board act.
As such the Board decided to follow due process and an investigation into Sawh’s alleged behaviour was initiated.
An explanation was sought from him.
The Board communicated with Sawh on November 12 seeking responses to five complaints received on the issue.
These came from a doctor, an actor, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh and two other people.
In MBTT’s letter to Sawh, Board secretary Professor Hariharan Seetharaman said it was alleged Sawh “displayed blatant racism, used racial slurs, verbally abused an employee and showed strong evidence of discriminatory hiring practices.”
Attorney contacts fired intern
Meanwhile, George said he’s also been in touch with a representative for fired public health sector intern Dhelia Gabrielle who requested to work with Sawh in his private-sector establishment to complete her internship.
Gabriel was also “outed” in a video, making racist comments.
Her employment as an intern with the Health Ministry was terminated in 2018 after this.
She said since then it has been difficult to get work.
After Sawh apologised, Gabriel said she agreed with those who called for him to be “axed” as a doctor.
But Gabriel- who holds a provisional medical licence – asked for Sawh to hire her.
She mentioned his promise to hire future staff based on their qualifications and not ethnicity.
Gabriel claimed her provisional licence will allow an intern to practise if they complete the internship, which must be done under the supervision of a fully licensed professional.
George said he spoke last week to an attorney involved in her matter and wants to hear officially what exactly she’s requesting or proposing.
By: Gail Alexander