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Doctor calls for resignation of Medical Board over handling of Sawh controversy

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Doctor calls for resignation of Medical Board over handling of Sawh controversy

A call is being made for the resignation of the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago over its handling of a doctor caught berating and making racist remarks to a female employee several months ago.

It comes from Dr Andre Alleyne, who on Thursday, staged a small demonstration outside the board’s office located at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex. Dr Alleyne lamented the board’s shortcomings in taking disciplinary action against Dr Avinash Sawh.

An audio recording of Dr Sawh’s rant with an employee had circulated on social media in November last year.

He has since apologised.

However, Dr Alleyne, one of the five people to lodge official complaints against Dr Sawh, said the retraction of a letter of complaint by the board last month is worrying.

“I would like to see the members of the Medical Board resign because they mishandled this incident. They’ve breached the process by whoever decided to publish the names. They have failed the young lady who first brought this issue to the public. They have failed all the complainants, they have failed medical fraternity and the public.”

The board has said that it has not completed its probe into the matter.

According to Dr Alleyne, there have been several public and private missteps by the Medical Board.

He said there was a lot left to be desired.

“I want the focus to go back to Dr Avinash Sawh. Throughout this four-month period, there have been a lot of smokescreens thrown out by himself, his legal team to distract from the fact that he has racism, bigotry, verbal abuse and other charges to answer to and he is not being asked to answer them.”

The Medical Board, in a press release issued after Alleyne’s demonstration, said the council continued to discuss the matter involving Dr Sawh during its monthly meetings but a decision was yet to be made.

“This process has not been completed and as such it will be unprofessional and inappropriate to engage on the matter publicly.”

Dr Alleyne has claimed that the Board should have acted swiftly based on evidence readily available in the public domain, instead of making the incident into “a mess by bowing to the will of Dr Sawh.”

By: Jesse Ramdeo

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