Cabinet to consider names for proposed Disciplinary Committee

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Before the end of this week, Cabinet ministers will have in their possession, the names of three people who will be asked to serve on the Disciplinary Committee to investigate members of the medical fraternity who are accused of negligence.
The three names were chosen from a pool of six that were submitted to Health Minister Molwyn Joseph by the executive of the Antigua and Barbuda Medical Council.
In an interview posted on the Ministry of Health’s Facebook Page, Joseph also outlined that an additional two names, to be nominated by him, will be put forward to the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda for final approval.
“All five names will be submitted to the Cabinet this week. So, for the first time since 2009 we will have a Disciplinary Committee as mandated by law. This is a very important step in Antigua and Barbuda,” the minister said. It is the Medical Practitioners Act of 2009 which makes provision for the setting up of a Disciplinary Committee, to investigate and punish any wrongdoings on the part of medical practitioners in the country. Despite the passage of the Act years ago, the committee was never established. In Mid-November the minister noted that establishing the board has proven difficult as several doctors have refused to serve.
The establishment of the committee at this time follows a widely circulated petition on social media by the family of Esme Stevens who died on September 11, due to what they say was a routine procedure which went wrong at the hands of a licensed and experienced local medical practitioner.
Stevens underwent a colonoscopy procedure performed by a private doctor on September 8 and died three days later at the Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC). The family subsequently launched the petition to get the disciplinary committee in place so they could file their complaint, particularly since they note how expensive it is to pursue a lawsuit.

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