NewsDefiant Doctor Calls for Dissolution of Medical and Dental Council

St. Lucia News OnlineJuly 4, 202231027 min

The Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Council says its actions against Dr. Gilbertha St. Rose were constitutionally proper and within its jurisdiction.

Following its decision to suspend her license for six months and a $10,000 fine for illegally prescribing and providing the Ivermectin drug as a medication for COVID-19, the Council issued a press release outlining and explaining its position.

The press release, under the heading COVID 19 — The Role of the Medical and Dental Council and other Health Authorities, while not mentioning Dr. St Rose by name, suggested that she had violated five principles governing her practice.

Council Chairman Dr. Andre Matthew says the Council was established by the Health Practitioners Act, “to promote high standards in the practice of medicine and dentistry” and its Research Ethics Committee “has delegated authority to ensure ethical standards in the conduct of medical research.” 

According to Dr. Matthew’s statement, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) “is the medical practitioner authorized by Laws of Saint Lucia to educate the public in the preservation of health, protect the public from fraud or deception in connection with food and medications, direct the public medical service, and manage the treatment and isolation of all suspected or confirmed cases of communicable diseases, such as Covid-19.” 

Secondly in his statement, he said, “In accordance with Laws of Saint Lucia, a medical practitioner in private practice is required to notify the team of medical officers of health led by the Chief Medical Officer if any person professionally attended by him or her is a suspected or confirmed case of a notifiable disease, such as Covid-19.” 

Thirdly, “Laws of St. Lucia do not authorize a medical practitioner in private practice to keep under their care and management any suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19.”

Fourthly, that the International Health Regulations “is an instrument of international law which legally binds Saint Lucia and other members of the World Health Organization (WHO)” and it “aims to prevent, protect against, control, and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease…” 

It also “requires that health measures to be implemented by member states based on specific guidance or advice from the WHO.”

Fifthly, “The Health Practitioners Act requires that health practitioners perform their duties competently, trustworthily and with utmost regard for the welfare of their patients…”

It also “requires that professional misconduct in the practice of medicine and dentistry is investigated by the Council” and “the Council takes action if after investigation it is satisfied that a practitioner has a case to answer.” 

The statement concluded, “The Health Practitioners Act requires that in all matters the Council acts independently, impartially and in the interest of the public.”

But Dr. St Rose continues to challenge the Council, and earlier this week issued a statement questioning its legitimacy, calling for its dissolution and indicating her intention to bring the matter of the Council’s ruling before the courts. The doctor indicated that never mind the decision to suspend her license, she will be available to anyone seeking her services, but in her other capacity as “a licensed and registered herbalist”. She also indicated other doctors would be on hand at her clinic to provide whatever services she could not.

She didn’t respond to the Council’s five-point statement explaining the legitimacy of its actions but promised to take the fight to the Council.

Dr. St Rose insists she’ll continue to prescribe Ivermectin – and has received backing from Human Rights lawyer Mary Francis and an entity calling itself ‘The Advocacy Group’. 

St. Lucia News Online

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