Maynard: It is a concern that government has uncertified doctor practicing

Hon. Konris Maynard Opposition Member of Parliament
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Calls for someone to be held accountableStaff Writer

A recent announcement by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Martin that an unlicensed doctor is treating patients at the Federation’s leading health facility does not sit well with the Opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP). Dr. Martin, who was sent on a 17-month pre-retirement leave, told a local media agency that he was placed on vacation because he did not approve of stem cell research being done at JFN Hospital and that a foreign doctor is practicing there without a license.  He said the Medical Act states that a physician must be registered and licensed to practice in the Federation.

Opposition Member of Parliament the Hon. Konris Maynard told The Observer a breach of local health regulations had occurred. He called for individuals to be held accountable and for the minister to apologize to the public.

“The CMO has come out and said he did not authorize this,” Mr. Maynard said. “We must hold someone accountable for a complete breach of what would be the acts or legislation that speaks to the regulation of our public health.”

He also argued that no other jurisdiction would be permitted in such a situation. Legislation would not permit a foreign medical practitioner to carry out duties without proper documentation, he added.

Minister Eugene Hamilton has been criticized since taking office last year. He was embroiled in a controversy with the SKNLP 2015 election candidate for Constituency No. 8 Dr. Terrance Drew over him practicing at the health facility and the question of whether he was available to take up the position as the Federation’s second internist.  Government sources said the elected representative for Constituency No. 8 may not be running on the same track as his junior minister.

Rep. Maynard told The Observer the government is continuing to play the political ball game with the health sector and those who are not aligned with the Team Unity Administration.

“Dr. Drew was taken to a mountain and back to practice his trade at the hospital at the country of his birth simply because he represented an opposing political party to that who was serving the country,” Mr. Maynard declared. “The CMO was doing what he was required to do by the legislation and he was promptly removed.”

Dr. Marrin revealed he was trying to have his contract with the government extended after he had reached retirement age on four previous occasions.  The same day the CMO received his termination notice, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Andrew Skerritt was reportedly sent on leave and relocated to another portfolio in the government. Maynard is challenging the Prime Minister to have the substantive Minister be replaced for this breach. He added, ‘This is unheard of. We need to call on the relevant minister, the responsible Minister, to be either fired or resign.”

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