The Saint Lucia Medical & Dental Council has broken its silence following the case against Dr. Gilbertha St Rose.
The council suspended St Rose’s licence for six months and fined her $10,000 over accusations of the unauthorised use of the drug Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 and unapproved clinical trials.
In the statement, Council Chairman Dr. Andre Matthew noted that the organisation had a legal mandate to investigate misconduct allegations to ensure public safety.
The full statement appears below:
COVID-19 – The Role of the Medical and Dental Council and other Health Authorities
The Medical and Dental Council, established by the Health Practitioners Act, to promote high standards in the practice of medicine and dentistry wishes to inform the public of the following:
1) The Research Ethics Committee, established by the Medical and Dental Council, has delegated authority to ensure ethical standards in the conduct of medical research. In the interest of public health and safety the Research Ethics Committee assesses research applications for approval and monitors the conduct of any research approved by the Committee.
2) The Chief Medical Officer, 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.
3) 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. Laws of St. Lucia do not authorize a medical practitioner in private practice to keep under their care and manage any suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19.
4) The International Health Regulations is an instrument of international law which legally binds Saint Lucia and other members of the World Health Organization. The International Health Regulations aim to prevent, protect against, control, and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease and requires that health measures to be implemented by member states, are based on any specific guidance or advice from the World Health Organization.
5) The Health Practitioners Act requires that health practitioners perform their duties competently, trustworthily and with utmost regard for the welfare of their patients. The Health Practitioners Act also requires that professional misconduct in the practice of medicine and dentistry is investigated by the Medical and Dental Council and that the Medical and Dental Council takes action, if after investigation it is satisfied that a practitioner has a case to answer.
Finally, the Health Practitioners Act requires that in all matters the Medical and Dental Council acts independently, impartially and in the interest of the public.