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Not me!

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Not me!

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MINISTER?OF?HEALTH Donville Inniss is pushing back against the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) or anyone who wants to drag him publicly into the controversy over the suspension of paediatric cardiologist Dr Richard Ishmael.
Not referring to Ishmael by name, the minister, who was touring a public health laboratory yesterday, told reporters he did not communicate with BAMP or any other agency via the Nation newspapers.
The Nation has reported that Ishmael was suspended on December 10 with full pay for one month from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) after writing a letter – now the subject of litigation – on QEH letterhead, in which certain allegations were made about heart specialist Dr Alfred Sparman.
“If BAMP or any agency or grouping – formal or informal – wishes to draw anything to the attention of the minister there are clearly established procedures for doing that,” Inniss said.
“As a minister, I will not run my ministry in any knee-jerk manner and based on any information that people leaked to the media.”
Not only has BAMP called for Ishmael’s reinstatement, but so too, has the Jamaica-based Caribbean Cardiac Society, which quoted Dr Clyde Cave, acting head of the Department of Paediactrics at the QEH, as saying “Dr Ishmael’s position as the only paediactric cardiologist makes him vital to the provision of cardiac care to Barbados’ children”.
But Inniss said: “The QEH has a management team in place and they have a board that I have appointed, and I have utmost confidence in my board to manage that institution in the best interest of the public.”
Inniss also said health care was not being compromised at the QEH.
“Nothing has been brought to my attention that makes me feel that patient care is in any way compromised in the QEH. There is a management team and a board in place that would address these matters.
“You can rest assured that as a minister I keep my finger and pulse on issues that need to be kept abreast of. But I will not get into any public comment or debate about such matters ”
Meanwhile, Barbados will have a new state-of-the-art public laboratory facility in the near future.
Inniss reported, after a tour of the Winston Scott Polyclinic, that Cabinet had decided to amalgamate that unit, Ladymeade Reference Unit and the Leptospirosis laboratories into one facility.
“We decided as a Cabinet to construct one facility that would now house the three labs in the public sector. We are working with the Ministry of Housing and Lands to identify the site. We have started discussions with various parties, including the United States administration, to secure funding and technical support for the construction of the lab,” said Inniss. (JS)