BASSETERE, ST. KITTS – Chairman of the opposition St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), Hon. Marcella Liburd, has welcomed the statement from the St. Kitts and Nevis Medical and Dental Association (SKNMDA) which in her view concludes that the Regenerative Stem Cell operation at the J. N. France General Hospital was illegal, unethical and lacked legislation and regulations.
its statement has concluded that it was a stem cell operation taking place at the J. N, France General Hospital without legislation, regulations and ethical clearance and standards.
“The SKNMDA clearly confirmed that what was taking place was in fact stem cell. This contradicts what the Hon. Wendy Phipps, who spoke on behalf of the government in a national address, said. It says that Wendy Phipps was not telling the truth and was deliberately misleading the public to say categorically no stem cell program was taking place. Also she said that the CMO Dr Patrick Martin was lying and so I am calling on her to apologise to Dr Martin, because she sought to stain his character when in fact Dr Martin was spot on,” said Liburd, a former Minister of Health.
Liburd, the Parliamentary Representative for Central Basseterre said the SKNMDA, of which doctors and dentists are members, also confirms in their public statement, their support for Dr. Patrick Martin in ensuring that standards are upheld.
“What the doctors and dentists are saying is that what was taking place at the JNF had no legislation, no ethical clearance and should not be going on and that the Chief Medical Officer performed the role by ensuring that these standards are upheld,” said Liburd, who continued: “This again contradicts what Wendy Phipps was saying.”
She agreed with the position of the SKNMDA that the “Medical Board should be allowed to function in its legally prescribed roles, including the registration of health practitioners and monitoring their competence to practice as is laid out in the Medical Act without interference from political or other entities.”
“This seems to suggest that there is some form of political interference trying to encroach upon the Medical Board and that would be very, very, dangerous. As you know with this (Team Unity) Government politics trumps everything because the Government believes that no matter how professional you are, they can just make sure that you become embroiled in their politics and the professionalism is sacrificed. But the Medical Association is having none of it and I am very pleased to see that,” said Liburd.
Commenting on the SKNMDA, position that every member of the SKNMDA is legally registered with the Medical Board to practise their craft within the federation, and hence the Association supports the legal position that no individual should be allowed to partake in any medical or dental activity, whether hands-on or supervisory, without being duly registered as is laid out in the Medical Act, the former Minister of Health said “it is clear that they are referring to the Brazilian doctor and that she should have been registered even in her supervisory role.”
“To date, I checked today (Wednesday 13th July 2016), and she has not been registered. Wendy Phipps said in her broadcast that they are processing documents for the Brazilian doctor (found wearing gloves with a stetescope around her neck on the Private Ward). Up to today, she has not been registered and again Dr Martin was right and Wendy Phipps was wrong,” remarked Liburd.
She said the SKNMDA release implies that doctors were not aware of the Regenerative Stem Cell Project in the Private Ward on June 13th.
“They were not informed. This is a government that has this backdoor approach to issues with everything going on illegally and here, the doctors are saying that they should be informed because they are in the forefront of healthcare in St Kitts and Nevis. They are also of the view that what was taking place lacked ethical clearance and best practices,” said Ms. Liburd, who also agreed with the position of the SKNMDA that any proposed study must not expose physicians to increased liability because of poor design and lack of clear procedural details in its design.
“This exposes Dr Dwayne Archibald when he was sent there to participate in a procedure that he is not trained in and there is no legislation, no ethical clearance, no laws, no regulations, no charts for the patients involved in the regenerative stem cell research project,” said Ms. Liburd, who is of the firm view that the SKNMDA release confirms that the Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris, Health Minister Eugene Hamilton and Junior Minister Wendy Phipps must resign.
“Now that the Medical Association has spoken it is clear that what was happening was illegal, unethical and lacked legislation. It was totally unregulated,” said Liburd.