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Medical Board withdraws letter to doctor accused of racism

Martin George & Company > Newspaper Articles  > Medical Board withdraws letter to doctor accused of racism

Medical Board withdraws letter to doctor accused of racism

A letter sent by the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago to Dr Avinash Sawh over racist comments he made in several audio recordings has been retracted.

Attorney Martin George, representing Dr Sawh, told Loop News that the letter with five complaints listed against Dr Sawh had been withdrawn.

‘The Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago has to date sent correspondence indicating that they have taken the decision to withdraw their letter which had five complaints against our client.’

He said they had replied to the Board’s letter with a reply outlining several objections and highlighted several irregularities, basing the statements on the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.

‘The attorney for the Medical Board conceded in one area and indicated that he felt that the sending of the letter was premature in the circumstances and that he had advised the Council to withdraw same.’

George said, as a result, the letter containing five complaints against Dr Sawh was withdrawn.

He said however that they stand against all forms of discrimination:

‘We wish to make it clear that our position has always been that we stand against any attempts by any individual, group, or any person in society who seeks to denigrate or degrade others on the basis of class, race ethnicity or otherwise, because these are things that go against our constitution and against what I think the medical fraternity stands for and the medical fraternity has made their position clear.’

George said notwithstanding the letter being withdrawn, he said they wish to work alongside the Medical Board in future to ensure that their code of ethics is upheld, via sensitivity training or other methods.

He also called on government to establish a permanent race relations council which would handle issues of this nature.

In November 2020 Dr Sawh publicly apologised after audio recordings were shared online in which he referred to Afro-Trinidadians as ‘monkeys’ and called members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service ‘dunce n***ers’.

Dr Sawh added that he would attend sensitivity training moving forward and asked for forgiveness from the medical fraternity and all others who had been affected.

BY: ALINA DOODNATH

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