Call for the Medical Council to engage the public on Dr. Jose Humphreys saga

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By Robert A. Emmanuel

Minister of Information Melford Nicholas has called on the Medical Council to be more forthcoming with the public on the issue regarding its refusal to renew Dr. Jose Humphreys’ licence to practice.

Yesterday, OBSERVER media’s front-page story reported that Dr. Humphreys had been denied permission to appeal against a decision handed down earlier this year by three judges who had rejected his application to overturn a 2017 ruling that he failed to prove that the Medical Council refused to renew his medical licence when he applied over four years ago.

This week, Dr. Humphreys’ application for leave to appeal to the Privy Council was dismissed by the Court of Appeal, three months after the latter court upheld the 2017 High Court ruling of Justice Clare Henry who said that the letter he received from the Medical Council on September 25, 2014 was not a refusal to renew the licence.

Members of the public, former patients, and political leaders have stood in solidarity with the embattled doctor and questioned the silence of the Council after he was removed from the list of recogniszed medical practitioners in the state a month ago.

At Thursday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister Nicholas said that members of the Medical Council should not be afraid to speak about the reasons behind their decision.

“There is a need for other members of public administration to give account of their stewardship and, in respect of the Medical Council, avail themselves to the public is a good call, and I would encourage those persons to be open … I believe no harm can be done especially if your decision is based in law,” he said.

Nicholas explained that by being more forthcoming about its decision, the Council may help the public to better understand the issue.

He added while the Cabinet is empathic to Dr. Humphreys’ circumstances and the impact that the decision could have on his livelihood, the Cabinet will stay neutral on the matter to allow for the two parties to seek to work towards a solution.

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