Doc Ties Up QEH
by TIM SLINGEROne Queen Elizabeth Hospital consultant has been fired and another has turned to the High Court to prevent his own axing. The development follows reports from a senior QEH official two months ago that consultants had been running things at the hospital for too long, hinting that some contracts would not be renewed. Dr Cecil Rambarat, a hospital radiologist for the past 15 years, became the first casualty when he was issued with walking papers Wednesday after being summoned to a meeting at the hospital’s chief executive officer’s (CEO) office.Yesterday morning, urologist and consultant Jerry Emtage filed an injunction against the QEH before High Court Judge Justice Margaret Reifer, after word was that he too would be removed from the hospital’s list of consultants.
Among other things, Emtage, through his attorney Ralph Thorne, QC, is asking the court to declare that his “contractual appointment with the QEH is ongoing on the same terms and conditions as his immediately pre-existing contract”. Emtage’s previous three-year contract ended last year, but he has continued to work with the hospital as a consultant up to this week. Reports indicated that efforts to serve him with termination documents had been unsuccessful. Hospital sources told the WEEKEND NATION yesterday that the urologist, like Rambarat had been summoned to the hospital CEO’s office on Wednesday for a similar meeting, but had refused to attend on the grounds that his attorney should be present at any such hearing.
In his injunction, Emtage, 58, a consultant surgeon with the QEH for the past 20 years, has also appealed to the court to nullify and prevent any further notice of a hospital advertisement which appeared in the June 20, 2010 edition of the SUNDAY SUN announcing a vacancy for the post of consultant surgeon (urology). One of several grounds of the court application also accuses the QEH of acting contrary to law, breaching the principles of natural justice and acting in bad faith. Thorne, commenting on the matter, told the WEEKEND NATION: “While my immediate duty is to defend Mr Emtage’s tenure, I think it must be the overriding concern of us all that the welfare of the patients at the QEH remains the paramount consideration in these proceedings.
“The patients under Mr Emtage’s care at the QEH need his uninterrupted care and attention.” Further hearing of the matter has been set for October 7. The legal team representing the QEH is headed by Sir Maurice King, QC, Wayne Clarke (hospital’s legal advisor), Mitch Codrington and Amiri Dear.