According to reports, a neurosurgeon was prohibited from continuing his duties subsequent to being arrested by law enforcement officers for assaulting his work colleague. The victim of the assault was allegedly punched in the face and is nursing wounds to the mouth.
The physical altercation occurred at around midday on Sunday, December 11, at the Falmouth General Public Hospital in northwestern Jamaica between the two medical professionals.
Information arising from the incident states that the operating surgeon sometimes does private surgeries at the hospital, however, in this particular instance was told by a colleague that in order to carry out a private operation at the hospital, prior permission was needed in writing.
A source in the health sector relayed to the Jamaica Observer the following Monday, “There is an arrangement in some hospitals that under certain conditions doctors who have their practice within or near the hospital are allowed to conduct private surgeries, but at a ratio of not more than one in every three. The doctor, who is now on interdiction, was seen preparing a patient for a private surgery and was told by his colleague that he needed to get approval in writing to perform the surgery.”
The source further noted that following the scolding of the neurosurgeon, the doctor took his leave of the operating room but was accosted by the neurosurgeon who allegedly proceeded to throw a punch to the face. The doctor was hit in the mouth which resulted in a cut on his upper lip and swelling around the affected area.
Sunday’s incident was reported to the Falmouth authorities and the accused neurosurgeon was thereafter arrested. The incident has also drawn focus to the matter of doctors using public health equipment for private reasons.
Regulation 32 of the Public Service Regulations states that if any criminal proceedings have been or are about to be brought against an officer, and if the Public Service Commission believes that said officer should be barred from performing their responsibilities in order to serve the public interest, then the commission can suggest that the officer be interdicted. It is also permitted that the officer be granted a portion of their pay as a recommendation to the governor general from the commission.
An investigation into the matter is also being conducted by the Western Regional Health Authority.