Hospitals board still reviewing chief of staff’s suspension

Hospital bosses are still pondering the future of chief of staff Donald Thomas, two months after he was suspended.

Campaigners yesterday repeated their call for Bermuda Hospitals Board to reveal why the head doctor was placed on administrative leave on July 12.

A BHB spokeswoman confirmed Mr Thomas is still being paid as the board reviews his situation, saying: “We are working to conclude a thorough process as efficiently as possible to ensure a fair outcome, and cannot comment further at this time.

“Dr Thomas’ administrative leave is with pay, while the process is completed.”

Opposition MP Louise Jackson once claimed Dr Thomas was paid as much as $700,000 per year for his role with the publicly-funded BHB, although the board says its salaries are not public information.

Mark Selley, one of the founders of Bermuda Healthcare Advisory Group, told The Royal Gazette: “I just think it’s pathetic. It’s now two months since he was suspended and nobody knows why and no reason is being given.

“We are trying to get answers but it’s all just fluff. If he’s being paid while he’s suspended, that’s just wrong. BHB is operating in a black hole and it’s as if they don’t know how else to operate.”

The Advisory Group has previously complained Dr Thomas was able to get the chief of staff job in 2007 despite being disciplined for an out-of-date medical licence while practising as a doctor in Florida.

Mr Selley said his group has been frustrated at a lack of communication since raising a catalogue of complaints in a meeting with the BHB in April.

He said group members are considering pushing for a Commission of Inquiry into BHB’s failure to address concerns such as why Dr Thomas was suspended.

“There’s been zero interest, not one bit of communication from the hospital,” he said.

“They think we won’t act but, guess what, not only do we act but we are going for a Commission of Inquiry. They would have to pay attention to that.”

More details on that plan will emerge after the group’s next meeting, he said.

Regarding complaints about the lack of communication, the BHB spokeswoman said: “BHB is responding to individuals who raised concerns. We cannot report medical information back to the entire group.”

BHB has previously responded to accusations of its lack of communication with Mr Selley’s group by encouraging patients and their family members with any specific concerns to contact the patients advocate at 239-1425.

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Published Sep 11, 2012 at 9:06 am (Updated Sep 11, 2012 at 9:06 am)

Hospitals board still reviewing chief of staff’s suspension

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