Disciplinary measures against gynecologist in the works

POSTED: 05/11/11 11:39 AM

Hospital director Scot refutes media statements

St. Maarten — SMMC refutes the incorrect statements which were given in recent press coverage about the incident that recently occurred between a specialist and a ward Supervisor. “It damages the reputation of SMMC and by extension the reputation of our employees. We regard the statements as slander and question the reasons why they were made. It is important that the public receives the correct information so that they know and understand that management and employees will do everything to make and keep the SMMC a safe place when they are in need of medical treatment,” George Scot, director of the St. Maarten Medical Center said in a statement issued yesterday.

The incident, whereby a specialist (gynecologist Smith – ed.) pushed a ward supervisor (Sheryl Carty – ed.) during a heated discussion, was witnessed by two other employees, Scot stated. “The incident happened in the nurse’s station and no patients were present as previous reported in the media. We regret that the incident occurred and do not condone nor accept that any staff member has any verbal outbursts or physical confrontations with any other person within SMMC.”

The hospital announced that disciplinary measures will be taken against the specialist after Scot, and the Board of Directors receive an advice from the Medical Staff Board of the specialists. The Medical Staff Board is an organized independent body of which all specialists operating at SMMC are a member. The advisory process is a required procedure in line with the rules and regulation of the Medical Staff Board.

“The specialist deeply apologizes for the occurrence of the incident and is heavily affected by the reactions it caused as well as the false accusations against him as a professional. He has requested and received approval, to take some time out in order for all parties to be able to focus on the continuity of patient care,” Scot stated.

The director explained in his statement that all patients are examined with new gloves that are only used once. “We absolutely refute the statements indicating otherwise. The discussion between the specialist and the ward supervisor regarded the specific use of new sterile gloves versus new unsterile gloves. Sterile gloves have undergone a special process and are separately packed to ensure its sterile state and are only used for medical indications. Many hospitals in various countries, including the Netherlands, have the policy that if there is no clear medical indications requiring the specific use of sterile gloves, patients are examined with the use of regular gloves (unsterile). There is no scientific proof indicating that the risk of infection by female patients increases with the use of regular gloves.”

At the Obstetrics/Gynecology ward at SMMC there is the unwritten policy to use sterile gloves when performing pelvic exams by patients. Although there is no scientific proof that this will contribute to any extra safety, SMMC has adapted this practice and will continue to do so from a precautionary standpoint, Scot stated.

“The new specialist was accustomed to use regular gloves when executing pelvic exams by patients and he was not informed of this unwritten SMMC policy. At the moment of the incident the choice of gloves was brought forward as questioning the medical authority of the specialist.”

SMMC refutes statements that other staff members have been dismissed for similar or lesser incidents. “In the past 5 years there were 8 incidents where staff members were dismissed on an average workforce of 200 employees, 5 for proven fraudulent actions, 2 for frequent absenteeism and 1 for sexual assault,” Scot stated.

“As a professional organization we stand for just conduct towards our patients and to our employees. The employees are SMMC. We are working with people for people. Conflicts can happen, therefore it is important to have policies and procedures in place to ensure that they can be addressed in a responsible manner. This means hearing all parties and understanding the root of the issue at hand. SMMC is giving this matter it fullest attention to ensure a safe and healthy environment for its patients and employees.”


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