Consultant: Time to look again at my complaint against KEMH chief of staff

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An overseas consultant has asked Bermuda Hospitals Board to look again at a complaint he made against Dr Donald Thomas in light of the chief of staff’s suspension.

David Green, of IHI Consulting International in Ontario, told The Royal Gazette he got short shrift from BHB chief executive officer Venetta Symonds when he filed his grievance about Dr Thomas’s conduct in April.

But now that the head doctor at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital has been placed on administrative leave and the board has launched a review, Mr Green hopes his complaint will get a second look.

“I hope they’ll formally look at it properly, from an independent point of view, not just close ranks,” he said. “I would like someone to look at the specifics of my claim and my relationship with Dr Thomas and the BHB.

“I just want them to do an independent review, not an internal cover up. In light of the fact that they have suspended him, for whatever reason, and there are investigations, I shouldn’t be disregarded.”

As this newspaper reported last month, Mr Green flew to Bermuda at BHB’s expense to give a presentation on a Betty Ford-style clinic for the Island.

He alleged that after coming up with the idea he was “frozen out” of the project. Mr Green claimed he had a verbal agreement with Dr Thomas to launch the clinic and is still owed money from BHB in consultancy fees.

In his initial complaint to Ms Symonds, dated April 24, Mr Green claimed Dr Thomas breached his word and brought BHB into disrepute internationally, as other overseas companies were approached about the clinic plan.

“I will be meeting with my lawyers and other interested and related parties on Bermuda and will then be able to make a fully informed decision of how to proceed, pending your response,” he added.

Ms Symonds replied that she had completed her internal review and was satisfied BHB had no signed agreement with IHI Consulting International.

She wrote: “You have suggested that your relationship with the BHB has been terminated and that you require we come to an amicable agreement which protects both of us, compensates you for your time and efforts and qualified introductions, facilitated on behalf of the BHB and [BHB subsidiary] HPL [Healthcare Partners Limited] during these past four months.

“The BHB will not compensate for effort invested to secure a formal agreement.”

Mr Green resubmitted his complaint on Wednesday, after discovering Dr Thomas was suspended on July 12 for reasons the board has not disclosed.

He said he was advised by several lawyers in Hamilton that pursuing his case could cost about $40,000 in legal fees — to recover the $70,000 he claims to be owed.

“They [BHB] know there is absolutely no point in doing that,” he said. “My complaint was completely disregarded but I hope they will now look at it again, as part of their review.”

A BHB spokeswoman told this newspaper last month that Mr Green was demanding payment for work which was not substantiated by any signed contract, nor written request.

“Mr Green has informed BHB this matter is in the hands of his lawyer and, as such, this is now part of a legal process, so we cannot comment further,” she said.

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