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PRIVATE DOCTORS, NURSES NOT REPORTING GUNSHOTS WOUNDS

By SASHA HARRINANAN Saturday, June 21 2014

click on pic to zoom in

POLICE have launched an investigation into reports that some doctors and nurses at private medical institutions have been “treating criminals’ gunshot wounds,” and not reporting same to the law enforcement authorities thus delaying apprehension of the individuals in question.

This was revealed to Newsday by Head of the North Eastern Division task Force (NEDTF), Inspector Roger Alexander, during an interview yesterday afternoon. Questioned about the status of the search for an unidentified man shot during an exchange of gunfire with NEDTF officers on Thursday morning, Alexander said the man might very well have been treated by a doctor illegally, enabling him to escape detection to date. “Lately, we’ve been hearing about medical professionals, private doctors and even a nurse with access to the required medication, who are treating these criminals privately, which is why we aren’t seeing them (criminals) turn up at the hospitals and the health centres for treatment.” Alexander also told Newsday these rumours are likely based on fact because “when we apprehend some of them a few weeks later, their bullet wounds have been treated and stitched up. So this is something we are actively looking into, and which we intend to get to the bottom of,” the NEDTF head assured. In response to Alexanders’ claim, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan remarked, “The police should provide the proof of which medics are doing it. This will allow the Medical Council the opportunity to deal with it.” The manhunt continued yesterday for the third man involved in Thursday’s shoot-out. Alexander said he is certain that the man would be arrested soon. “This morning (Friday) we were searching for him along the Santa Cruz River. We got reports he might have been hiding in an abandoned house there but there were no signs of recent occupation.” Two days ago, the NEDTF was on patrol at about 3.45 am when they were alerted that a silver Toyota Corolla had just left the Francis Street, San Juan area where three occupants of the vehicle had attempted to steal a boat engine.

The assailants set off an alarm and fled the scene. Persons in the area who heard the alarm alerted the police. The silver Corolla sped off onto Saddle Road in the vicinity of the San Juan North Secondary School. Alexander said the police officers called on the occupants of the vehicle to stop, but a chase ensued north along Saddle Road.

During the chase there was an exchange of gunfire between the occupants and the police. The occupants lost control of the car in the vicinity of Jagan Village where the vehicle spun off the road also flipping over several times. One of the occupants came out of the car, fired several shots at the police and ran into the nearby bushes. One of the two men who died during the exchange of gunfire was identified on Thursday as Abba Diaz (25) of Blackford Street, Santa Cruz but up to press time yesterday, Alexander said the other deceased man remained unidentified. “We got four possible names but the second man hasn’t been identified yet. We continue to work on all leads,” Alexander stated.

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