One week suspension for doctor who made racist rant

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One week suspension for doctor who made racist rant

Dr Avinash Sawh, the doctor made famous for his racist rant which was recorded, has been suspended for one week.

A disciplinary tribunal set up by the T&T Medical Board suspended him after finding him guilty of “infamous and disgraceful conduct.”

The tribunal was led by TTMB chairman Dr Neil Adrian Singh and included Dr Peter Bhaggan, Dr Krishna Ramsoobhag, Dr Lynette Seebaran-Suite and legal advisor John Heath.

Dr Singh said the tribunal tried to get the relevant parties to testify. He said letters were written to five complainants who wrote official letters to the TTMB requesting their presence for evidence and cross-examination, as dictated by the rules of natural justice. However, he said nobody eventually came forward to give evidence.

Among the official complainants were Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses’ Association, the African Student Union and a medical doctor.

The woman who allegedly posted the recordings of Dr Sawh’s alleged racial rant also did not give evidence before the tribunal.

“As such, the recordings were therefore not part of the evidence viewed by the tribunal,” Dr Singh explained.

However a public apology by Dr Sawh, carried on the CNC3 News after the incident, was tendered into evidence.

“It is the apology on CNC3 News that connected him (Dr Sawh) to the recordings and convicted him,” Dr Singh explained.

The tribunal concluded that the apology contained in the video recording was sufficient proof to ascribe the statements to Dr Sawh.

“Having regard to the fact that there was no evidence tendered to refute this conclusion and having carefully considered submissions made by counsel for the respective parties, the tribunal found Dr Sawh guilty of infamous and disgraceful conduct,” Dr Singh revealed.

While he admitted the public may be incensed over the leniency of the suspension, Dr Singh said this was the best option.

He also said that Dr Sawh’s “unblemished record as a medical doctor for 19 years, as well as his subsequent public apology allowed the tribunal to impose the sanction of suspension in accordance with Section 24 (2b) of the Medical Board Act.”

The suspension begins on June 1.