Doctors Not Coming Forward To Serve On Disciplinary Committee – Joseph

Joseph making his presentation in parliament

In response to a petition following that death of a woman after a medical procedure, Health Minister Molwyn Joseph is promising to establish a disciplinary committee for medical professionals.

He made the announcement in the Lower House of Parliament this morning.

 The family of the late Esme Stevens wants government to operationalise the section of the ‘Medical Practitioners Act of 2009’ that speaks of the formation of a Disciplinary Committee to investigate and punish any wrong doings on the part of medical practitioners here.

Over three thousand people have signed the petition calling for the committee to be established.


Speaking on the matter in parliament today, Joseph said he is in full support of the call.

“I met with the two sons of Esme Stevens and I gave them the government’s assurance that we would cooperate with them in whatever manner is appropriate to bring closure.”

The minister added that it is “unfortunate” that he has not been able to get doctors to serve on the committee when they are invited.

The law mandates that there should be three doctors and two people from civil society.

“As a result of not being able to find doctors we have not been able to fulfill the requirements of the law,” the minister told colleague lawmakers.

He said he toyed with the idea of taking doctors from abroad but the Attorney General advised him to simply change the requirements for who can sit on the committee.

“I fully embrace his recommendation. So we will proceed in that regard so that retired judges, nurses and persons who are able to reason on these matters can sit on the committee.”

The minister also expressed disappointment that efforts to implement the Health Facilities Licencing Act has not been met with support from the medical fraternity.

He said the bill was pulled back “and hence we are at a state of affairs in Antigua and Barbuda where there are no standards for private clinics. There are no standards for nursing homes.”

“I stand here very much disappointed that members of the medical fraternity did not embrace the opportunity to have standards established in these institutions.”

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  1. The doctor’s simply do not want to be held ACCOUNTABLE & RESPONSIBLE …



  2. Nursing homes aren’t regulated clinic ain’t regulated day cares aren’t regulated….but the PM seeking parliament to UNBLOCK treaties to make weed legal …..
    Oh maybe Bcos WHOOPIE GOLDBERG already pledging to spend $200 million on the project ….to he’ll with
    Regulatory Committee Board….I’m with the money train…

    • @ l -What the heck does this have to do with corruption? Corruption on whose part? The Doctor’s refuse to sit on the various committees for one reason and one reason only”” Doctors do not intend to go against each other” And i wish to inform you,that’s universal.. The hardest case for anyone to win anyplace on earth is one that includes malpractice-not insinuating that none has ever been won,but not an easy fight..Most times it has to be a case where the negligence is too open to hide.

  3. They want to beable to dig you in the ass and puncher your lungs and nothing for it….one time my baby mama went to the hospital for heavy stomach pain and the doctor said it was gas and sent us to buy pepto bismol,all the while she telling him it is her gallbladder……when she went back up after he sent her home qhen they checked the gallbladder was swollen and was lucky like a fish in a puddle of water in an empty river waiting for rain luckily ….

  4. And which Dr has the good minister asked???
    Those around him simply sip kool-aid and don’t like to rock boats. Boat rockers are marginalized but these are who will do what is needed.
    ANR please do some SOUND investigating in this regard, you may be the only independent news source soon.

  5. Doctors please start a petition to denounce this “doctors not coming forward”…. First they push who they wanna push forward. Look at the composition of the Council. Second where is the proof or paperwork of who was asked.
    Third instead of making the public aware that there are punitive avenues at msjmc, doctors are being used as scapegoats.
    Doctors meet…. Petition against this red herring… The nerve

  6. Unfortunate why. Maybe if you broadened the pool of local physicians who you wish to recognise, it would be less u_n_fortun_ate.
    Stop passing the buck.

  7. Did they mention the doctor’s name and venue of the procedure? The Minister said the procedure was not performed at MSJ. I sense the doctor is being protected. Not knowing the facts, no one is blaming anyone. So why not name the doctor.
    I do agree that there should be accountability on the behalf of the doctors as some doctors can be quite careless. A family member of mine almost died because a doctor prescribed aspirin when he was on a blood thinner. Another doctor he visited said it was ok because they did different things.

    • Jackie-the procedure was done at a private Clinic,she was only taken to Mt St John’s days after,when it became an Emergency. In other words,she went to Mt St John’s when the damage was already done..

      • Even though the procedure was not done at MSJMC, the doctor is employed at MSJMC as a consultant. Part of the issue from what I understand is long hours it took for her to get attention when she arrived at MSJMC and was seen by this same doctor. Why is the hospital so hush hush about what happened after she got there? Where is the report the family is asking for?

        • That’s right Grassroot, she may have taken awhile to be assisted at MSJ,but still no fault of MSJ itself.She was sent there by the very same Dr who did the procedure on her and only after the situation became unbearable did he decide to see her again. The long wait was because he took his own time to get there to assist her,she was even sent to a specific room to await him. Dont try to pin this on MSJ please,not fair at all.

          • My attempt was not to pin on MSJMC. My attempt was to bring clarity to the issue as from the statements made by the family this was one of the issues they were concerned about. If he was referred by the same doctor why did she have to wait on him? She was taken to a tertiary center and should have been appropriately triaged and seen by the appropriate specialist. Why wait 8 hours to see this doctor who is not the only specialist in his field? Your assertion that “he took his own time” is speculation.

          • Grossroot- According to Daily Observer (Nov 20th) She was not sent to MSJ by her doctor until some 3 days after the procedure. The procedure occurred September 8, at a private medical facility. She did not get to MSJ until September 11. She had complained to her doctor and it was not until he was told she could not even walk, he then advised them to take her to the 4th floor (surgery)of MSJ. They then waited for some hours for his arrival. Some eights hours after, she was taken into surgery and died shortly after.

      • Well aware that the procedure was not done at MSJ. The name of the doctor and the name of the facility should be made public. Has there been any issues with this doctor and facility before? If there has been, then the public should be made aware. There have been previous instances where people have gone to these private hospitals and are rushed to MSJ with post operation emergencies only to die.

  8. The Doctor’s are been protected by each other.. I do not know if it would be prudent for the Minister to call anyone’s name.The family has not done so to this day..

  9. Listening to the Minister of Health this morning makes me so ashamed and at pains to constrain my thoughts and my words. Clearly he lacks the mental acumen to understand issues as they related to healthcare, not only by the mediocre standards he has established in his mind but also by international standards.

    First of all, tertiary health care centers like MSJMC are there to provide advance care. Primary care clinics do just that – primary care – and are not expected to be equipped with advanced tools and specialist consultants. Moreover, is his jab at primary care health centers referring patients to MSJMC because they have inferior sets up speaking to the community clinics under his charge as well? Why do the Government-operated community clinic, even those that are promoted as high-end clinics like All Saints, refer to MSJMC? How dare you Mr. Minister, in your cowardice display of passing the blame, try to set standards for private clinics when the inept operations at the government clinics are badly indeed to improvements. How dare you?! As I have been made to understand, health care faciltiies were not against your prosposed legislation. They were against the draconian undertone expressed within it. A word of advice to you – before you open your mouth, check the dictionary and seek proper advice not smeared with the bias views of your advisers.

    Now, you went on your verbal tirade trying to appease the children of the late Esme Stevens with your usual narcissistic and obnoxious pretense that you know it all and can do it all. You made a statement that doctors are not willing to be on the yet to be established Disciplinary Committee. By what authority have you made such a broad-based statement? Was this advertised? Was there a memo sent out to the doctors asking for them to be a part of this Committee? I spoke to a few medical doctors who I am familiar with and none of them have ever been invited. Most of them outlined their willingness to serve on the Committee. So Mr. Minister, wheel and come again. I am just tired of your grandiose and outrageous degradation of others. There are many stories that can be told of the medical centers that fall under your purview. You sick me tummock!

  10. Mr. Minister should not even expect such a body to be form in this Antigua culture where it appears that in certain groups of professionals it’s a me and the rest of my group for ourselves and to hell with everybody else.
    When have we seen lawyers come out against lawyer when need to? Police against police or doctors against doctor? Even politicians in the same party?
    Their oath seems to be: protect and lie for each other, no matter what …
    Furthermore, Mifr. Minister, if you realize that none of them wants to be on such a committee, utilize the service of impartial, independent and honest retired doctors and nurses who have nothing to gain or lose and cannot be bought or sold to be on this board.
    When they know that they can be sued, disqualified and even charged for negligence and malpractice, due care and diligence will then be taken of patients.

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