Probe Begins Over Patient Snubbed For Wearing His Shoes


THE covered shoes that were reportedly rejected as sufficient.



HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands said yesterday a formal investigation is underway after a patient complained about being ordered to remove his shoes by a doctor before receiving treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital's Dialysis Unit.

The letter of complaint was sent to the Public Hospitals Authority by dialysis patient Marvin Johnson, accusing Dr Frederick Smith, head of nephrology at PMH, of aggressively refusing to give him treatment because he wouldn't take off his shoes. Dr Smith said he was simply trying to enforce the unit's policies in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to patients and staff.

Asked if Dr Smith was just trying to enforce the rules, Dr Sands said, "That is most likely the situation, but when a concern is voiced it needs to be investigated and a determination made if there is merit and so on. That is due process.

"The process is not instantaneous or in a particular news cycle. Some very strong allegations have been made and posted on social media and printed in your newspaper, so it requires now that a proper and complete investigation be done to determine if there is merit, if so how much, what is the science, what is the appropriate approach, is there a compromise needed, but clearly this confrontation is not helpful."

Mr Johnson's son, Giavano Bowe, raised the issue in the press and advised his father to write an official letter of complaint against Dr Smith to PHA.

An excerpt from the letter of complaint reads: "Because of the statements made by Dr Smith, I am a patient placed in that position - in fear of losing my life. I do believe that Dr Frederick Smith, though being a private doctor has been hired by the government and is being paid through the government by way of taxpayer's dollars. And, as a taxpayer, it is his duty to facilitate all of my needs in regards to my health at all costs - not make me fearful of losing my life. To that end, it is evident that the oath has been broken by Dr Smith."

Yesterday, Dr Sands said "it's always unfortunate when things get into a confrontation."

Dr Sands continued: "And, I think it's really an issue of trying to look at the merits of any particular physician. There are policies and requirements to minimise several things like infection as well as damage to the equipment in the Dialysis Unit. These two things come together.

"There have been adjustments made and put forward to the hospital and to the Executive Management Committee and once those policies are put in place the idea is to try to get as much compliance. Ultimately the hope is that if there is strong opposition to it that a reasonable approach be made to try and get some resolution. So this is where we are."

Dr Sands said he is not going to get into any 'he say, she say' in the absence of a full and fair evaluation because he doesn't want to get into trouble for listening to one side of the story.


Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 1 week ago

Frederick Smith unfortunately thinks wearing a white robe absolves him of any responsibility to exercise reasonable discretion and common sense in the treatment of his patients. As many as one in ten physicians suffer from self-aggrandizing behaviour. But even so, "my way or the highway" behaviour has no place in the practice of medicine and therefore should never be condoned or tolerated. That's just 101 med school !


Topdude 2 months, 1 week ago

Well Mudda do you know what it takes to become a doctor? It is clear you do not know or care. Wait until you have to ask a doctor to look at your mother. You will sing a different song and beg them to save her life. Look at our Prime Minister. His Hippocratic oath also extends to serving slime balls like you. Get a life. And stop being such a disgruntled misbegotten son of a lop headed idiot that you are. Look on the bright side dummy.


Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 1 week ago

My youngest daughter is an ER specialist and I have a close nephew who is an anesthesiologist. I'm fairly confident both of them would quickly conclude, as I have done, that you're unbalanced. I pray you're not in any way involved with the treatment of patients, either privately or in our public healthcare system.


Topdude 2 months ago

First of all, are you sure your “daughter “ is truly yours? And secondly, why is she allowing you to continue to prattle this nonsense on a daily basis? It is unfortunate that you do not have a family member who is a psychiatrist as he/she would have long ago reserved a special place for you at Rand Memorial. I am beginning to suspect that your daily output of foolishness is an open attempt to be noticed which is a form of self flagellation. Clearly then you are an exhibitionist. You really need help boy.


Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months ago

I'm still not persuaded that you're not "unbalanced". The thought just occurred to me from your handle name 'Topdude' that you just might be ........ no you couldn't possibly be....then again, you never know. LMAO


Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 1 week ago

HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands said yesterday a formal investigation is underway......

Translation: "I have used my ministerial broom to sweep the entire matter under the rug where it will remain forever more."

At a minimum Frederick Smith should be facing the possibility of losing his department head status and the requirement to attend an appropriate sensitivity training programme and/or professional conduct course. Lesser consequences would likely, in the circumstances, reflect badly on Sands himself as minister of health, and rightfully so. A formal complaint should also be filed with the Bahamas Medical Association, if not already done, so that they may perform their own investigatory and disciplinary proceedings to determine whether, as a minimum, Frederick Smith should be censured for misconduct.


bogart 2 months ago

The patient 40 year diabetic condition had informed the Doctor of his diabetic feet and severe nerve damage in his feet on reason why he could not take off shoes in previous reported story. And the situation seems to have developed into the possible Covid transferral from patients shoes to floor. The ACTUAL situation presented in front of the Doctor would have used his skills to get the bottom of the patients discomfort, get to examine the known stated patient's medical situation of the 40 year diabetic condition, with "diabetic feet" and "severe nerve damage" The patient stated medical condition of feet and taking off his shoes for medical examination and relief of feet and in association with other ailments. The Doctor needed to explained to patient and along with patient's medical nerve pains of feet and immediate examination and medical attention to patient feet.


Sign in to comment