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SYSTEM UNFAIR

By Miranda La Rose Monday, June 16 2014

click on pic to zoom in

Still grieving for her baby boy, Quelly Ann Cottle feels pain all over again, not because of his death but because of a health system that she said is unfair and makes her feel like a victim.

“I don’t have much trust in the system. I feel like I am being attacked in every way, and the system is being unfair to me,” Cottle told Newsday yesterday.

Cottle’s son Simeon bled to death after sustaining a gash to his head during a Caesarian section she had at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital, on March 1.

It is believed the baby lived for several hours before dying.

Preliminary investigations led to the suspension of Dr Javed Chinnia who performed the surgery.

An independent committee chaired by retired Justice of Appeal Mustapha Ibrahim and including a United Kingdom specialist Dr Melanie Davies and retired neo-natologist Petronella Manning-Alleyne was commissioned by Attorney General Anand Ramlogan to look into the circumstances of the baby’s death. This report was handed over to Ramlogan and sent by Cabinet last week to an inter-ministerial committee for further review.

Today, Cottle is hurt after learning sections of the report raising questions of negligence and misconduct became public after being published in the Sunday Guardian and Sunday Express yesterday.

She has been trying, she said, to obtain a copy of the report from the Office of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Health.

“If (Health Minister) Dr (Fuad) Khan can call me in and tell me that I as the mother cannot get a copy and the media are their friends and they can give them, then I am not important,” she said.

Last Friday, Cottle met Khan at Parliament and he apologised for not giving her a copy, but invited her to meet him tomorrow at the Ministry of Health to go through the report with her.

Expressing disappointment in not getting the copy, she said, “I wanted to read it before I read it in the media. By right I should have gotten a copy first, and so far everybody taking me for a pappyshow.”

Cottle told Newsday she feels as though she is the accused and the victim.

First it was the death of her baby, in the second instance, she said, “they put me out of the hospital before time, then Mr Fuad Khan put my medical history out there. The report now in the hands of the media makes it worse. I don’t know what will happen next.”

She was referring to comments made in the wake of baby Simeon’s death about miscarriages she has had and the hypertension she suffers.

“The system is not working in my interest. I will just wait and see. Everything is time. I can’t be too hasty. I just have to give it its due course,” Cottle said who has older children. As far as her legal options are concerned, she said that from the inception she sought the advice of a lawyer, but as far as making the first move she preferred to wait on Government’s actions.

“I cannot do anything on my own. The Government has to give me some peace of mind. Either they lock up the man or they take away his licence or whatever it is,” she said.

“I have not filed a petition. If only the process can work,” she said adding, “I am looking for some action on the part of Government.”

Khan confirmed yesterday that he met with Cottle last Friday and apologised to her for what has happened and for not making the report available. He said he did not make available copies of the report to the media.

Khan is due to meet today with Cabinet’s Finance and General Purposes (FNGP) Committee (separate from the inter-ministerial committee) at which he will present the report. Khan has already met with the Medical Council of the Medical Board and presented them with copies of the section of the report in which it calls for the Medical Council to take action. The report he had told Newsday had alluded to negligence.

Asked if compensation will be a factor at the FNGP meeting, Khan said if such a course was being pursued it has to be done through negotiations or mediation at the level of the ministry, or through the courts once negligence is determined.

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