SOS for Ishmael
SUSPENDED PAEDIATRIC CARDIOLOGIST Dr Richard Ishmael was temporarily back on the job yesterday at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).
He was called in to attend to two serious cases, one in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and another in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
It is understood the child in the PICU needed an emergency procedure done, while the other child needed a specialist’s opinion to advise on the specific course of treatment. He spent nearly two hours on the job.
On December 10 Ishmael was “suspended on full pay with immediate effect, pending the outcome of an internal investigation” for using a QEH letterhead on November 17 to address a concern involving Dr Alfred Sparman and Minister of Health Donville Inniss.
That letter is now a matter of litigation involving the three. The internal enquiry will be conducted on or before January 14, 2011.
QEH chief executive officer Dr Dexter James confirmed that Ishmael was allowed to return saying: “He had to come today to see a patient.”
However, he deferred comment on whether Ishmael’s suspension had been lifted permanently, saying a statement would be issued on the matter.
On December 23, Dr Clyde Cave, acting head of medical services, sent a memo to James stating that “the current solution of using telemedicine to consult with Dr Peter Gaskin (a paediatric cardiologist based in the United States) is not an acceptable replacement for the trained hands, ears, and judgment of a paediatric cardiologist who can actually manage a patient in person.
The cardiac health of children of Barbados in the public service remains in jeopardy”.
Ishmael’s brief return followed consistent complaints from QEH consultants that without him, there was increased risk of adverse outcome including “preventable death from cardiac pathology” in paediatric cases. (SP)