The following was received from a BU Source:
- Dr Ishmael, as a senior member of the Consultant staff of over 30 years, is held in high regard by the Ministry and Board of Management of the QEH.
- The decision to suspend Dr Ishmael was done only after consultation with a legal and industrial relations expert and in the best interest of both Dr Ishmael and the QEH. It is consistent with current practice where a serious breach of the Staff Rules is alleged. A full investigation into the matter is being conducted.
- It is important to note that in June the Board was advised in writing by Dr Ishmael that he could not guarantee that he would be renewing his contract which expired in April of this year. Notwithstanding, the Board delayed advertising the post of paediatric cardiologist, given Dr Ishmael’s standing at the QEH and also to accommodate the personal and professional commitments that took him away from his duties for considerable periods. Notwithstanding these prolonged absences, the Board received no correspondence from the Department of Paediatrics on the “increased risk of adverse outcomes” similar to the one issued after only one day of suspension.
Related Link – Internal QEH Memo
- As noted above, the QEH Board has made every effort to ensure that paediatric patient care is not compromised during this period. The actions taken includes dialogue with paediatric cardiologists abroad, one of whom is a Bajan, to either bring them to Barbados for consultations or using telemedicine to send data to access their consult services remotely. In addition, the support in the short-term is being provided to Department of Cardiology to assist Dr Moe.
- While agitation by members of the medical profession locally and regionally for Dr Ishmael’s reinstatement was anticipated, given his strong personal and professional loyalties, it is important to reiterate that in the interest of patient-care, staff morale, and good governance that no employee at the QEH, regardless of profession, age, colour or political affiliation, can be placed above the law and beyond the staff rules.
- One critical point that has arisen during this matter has been the realisation that in some areas of clinical speciality there are no back-up services available and during periods when specialist are away including on vacation there is an increased risk of adverse outcomes. To avert this situation in the future, the Board and Ministry have been communicating and the QEH will. move with haste to develop a register of those Barbadian physicians in the Diaspora who are willing to provide support to the QEH in the provision of services to the Barbadian public. This will be explored as a new thrust in the Medical Aide Scheme.
- There is unwavering support for the Board of Management of the QEH by the Government.