Dr. Humphreys loses another case in his effort to force medical council to renew his licence

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Dr. Jose Humphreys has been denied permission to appeal against a decision handed down by three judges earlier this year who 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.

His application for leave to appeal to the Privy Council was dismissed by the Court of Appeal this week, 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.

The dismissal of his application for leave to appeal was a unanimous decision of Chief Justice Janice Perriera and Justices of Appeal Louise Blenman and Mario Michel.

In justifying the dismissal, the judges stated, “The Applicant has not met the requirements of section 122(1)(a) of the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda, in that the appeal does not involve directly or indirectly a claim or question respecting a right which has a value equal to or exceeding the prescribed value of $1,500, as the question in issue on the appeal is whether the Council’s letter was in effect a refusal to renew the medical licence or whether the application for renewal of the medical licence was still pending before the Medical Council. That question does not involve a question as to the value of the issue in dispute.”

The battle between Dr. Humphreys and the Medical Council has been evoking anger among many residents who laud his medical skills, but the council and the court have both said during the proceedings, that emotions cannot be their guide.

Although the matter has been going on for nearly five years, public debate picked up pace in May after Dr. Humphreys’ name was struck from the list of recognised medical practitioners in the state.

Two months before his name was removed, the Court of Appeal had dismissed his challenge to the ruling of Justice Henry, stating that Dr. Humphreys had not been denied the renewal of his medical licence, and neither did the council had unlawfully contravene his right to liberty and his right to earn a living. 

The crux of his complaint was that on September 25, 2014, the council wrote to him, denying his application for a renewal of his licence. 

However, the court said the contents of the letter did not amount to a refusal to renew his licence, since it clearly outlined that the renewal was pending, and it was dependent upon Dr. Humphreys’ providing information which the medical council had requested, and which he refused to provide back in 2014.

The judges found that the Medical Council acted properly in requesting certain documents in order to consider his application for the renewal of his licence.

Read more in today’s paper

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