A medical doctor who practiced in New York until his license was revoked by authorities in 2008 for fondling a female patient, could run into similar problems in his native Guyana when the local medical board meets to decide his fate.
Dr. Vishwamintra Persaud, 41, whose address was listed as Nassau County, was the subject of intense media scrutiny recently after he was apparently located by people with an interest in his whereabouts in New York who knew that he had lost his license and had faced the courts on felony charges. and promptly informed Guyanese media houses and health authorities, urging them to act.
About two months after he quietly slipped into the country and began working at the state-run Georgetown Hospital, the goodly doctor is now on course to be disbarred from working unless high-level politicians move to influence the brand new executive of the Guyana Medical Council.
Incidentally, the council was elected the same day news broke about Persaud’s 2008 Class E felony conviction and loss of his licence for indecently touching a female. He also was handed an eight-year order of protection and a 10-year probation by the courts.
Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy says he is staying out of the case for now, allowing the council to do its work, but said he would be monitoring them to ensure “they comply with the letter and spirit of the laws.
“I will let them know my opinion after they would have ruled and would ask them to review the case if I think they are wrong,” he said as the week closed. “The new council has inherited a very interesting case on its hands.”
Governing party officials are notorious for publicly condoning wrongdoing by people with connections to the center of power and for supporting them to the bitter end.
It is in this regard that Ramsammy appears to be bracing for a ruling that could go against mounting public opinion that the doctor should be sacked and banned from working in Guyana.
So far the doctor has won the first round of a battle to remove him, after the hospital board voted to have him remain in place until the medical council acts. If Persaud is disbarred, the board will have to adhere to the board’s decision.
Ramsammy said that laws do talk about “the good standing” of an applicant for a medical practice license but he was still employed by the hospital, despite the fact that “we knew upfront about his medical conviction,” said Medical Superintendent Dr. Madan Rambarran.
But for the publication of a story about successful surgery in local newspapers this month, no one would have been the wiser, not even those in New York who spotted the story on the Internet and promptly emailed authorities and local newspapers.