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Dr Avinash Sawh

The TT Medical Board is expected to respond on January 18 to attorney Martin George who has called for the dismissal of five complaints against his client, controversial doctor Avinash Sawh.

And the Board will also reply to George’s claim that it “went outside of its remit and invited complaints” against Sawh.

The information is contained in letters passing recently between attorney Rajiv Persad acting for the Medical Board and George.

Sawh shot into the spotlight in October last year following a social media recording in which he verbally abused a female employee and also used racist language. This caused a national outcry with demands for his removal from the medical profession.

The Medical Board stated that it strongly condemns any sort of racial discrimination, racial slurs or verbal abuse by registered medical practitioners as such actions can be potentially construed as infamous, disgraceful conduct on the part of a doctor. It opened an investigation into Sawh’s alleged behaviour.

Sawh apologized. The Board had communicated with Sawh on November 12 seeking a response regarding five complaints received on the issue. Complaints were made by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, Dr Andre Alleyne, Karian Forde, Denica Richard and Justin Ramroop.

Yesterday George said he responded to the five complaints and gave the Board until January 12 to reply.

Chief among George’s rejection of the five complaints was the fact that none of the complaints filed was on the Medical Board’s Complaint Form, in accordance with the Board’s own procedure.

He said he also wrote the Board on December 15 on the other issue – of “assumed bias” against Sawh – and gave the Board until December 22 to respond to that.

George said he had received information which raised the issue of apparent bias and in which it appeared that the Medical Board’s Council was “going outside of their remit, jurisdiction and authority and begun inviting people to field complaints against Sawh.”

He said Wendell Eversley wrote the Board on November 16 on the Sawh matter which was already in the public domain. George stated the secretary to the Medical Board’s Council wrote Eversley stating that if a complaint was being made, a complaint form should be filled out regarding the specific allegations. George claimed that was guiding Eversley.

George had called on the Board to quash, dismiss or cease probing all complaints by January 12, failing which judicial review would be sought on any move by the Board to have a further inquiry and/or disciplinary action against Sawh.

George said he received a December 16 reply from Persad who said the Board had sought his advice. Persad, the Board’s attorney, will consider the matter and advise the Board which meets next Tuesday.

Persad sought an extension of time to reply to George, giving January 18 as the time as which the Board would respond both to the defence on the five complaints and to George’s latest claims the Board was “out of bounds and was seeking to invite complaints” against Sawh.

George said he agreed to the extension and is awaiting response by January 18.