Suspended doctor welcomes initial court ruling

 A medical practitioner says she remains confident after a High Court judge last weekend ordered the immediate reinstatement of her registration and practising certificate that had been suspended after she had been found to be prescribing and supplying the drug, Ivermectin, to patients affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“It is a hallelujah moment for the glory of God and for our people who have been deprived.So it’s one step forward though we haven’t got everything that we should but this one step forward in terms of persons being able to get their prescription from me for other pharmaceuticals which I was deprived from doing and it was a great loss for persons who also used pharmaceuticals in addition to my herbs,” Dr. Gilbertha St Rose told the online publication, St Lucia Times.

Last December, the outspoken medical practitioner was suspended for six months by the St. Lucia Medical and Dental Council  after indicating that she had been prescribing and supplying Ivermectin to patients without authorisation from the Ministry of Health or the Chief Medical Officer and publicly encouraging its use to treat the virus.

She was also fined EC$10,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) to be paid within 30 days because the Council found that she “conducted an unapproved and unmonitored clinical trial.

The Council had written to Dr St Rose, an Integrated Health Specialist, indicating that between February 8 and August 30, 2021,  she had committed acts of misconduct by performing her duties as a medical practitioner in a negligent and incompetent manner.

Last Friday, the Council representatives were not present at the High Court when the matter came up before Justice Rohan Phillip who later ruled to reinstate Dr. St Rose’s registration and practicing certificate and stay the Council’s decisions until the determination of the case.

“I allowed for a compromise so although Justice Phillip made the order for my registration and licence to be reinstated with immediate effect, he did ask me if it was okay that I agree not to prescribe Ivermectin – only for COVID-19. So I agreed to it just to allow for my patients to get the benefit of my expertise for other medical needs,” she said.

The matter coms up for hearing on April 28, this year.

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug most commonly used to treat livestock. It is US FDA-approved for humans when treating lice, rosacea, and specific parasitic diseases, but not for COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the current evidence on the use of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 patients is inconclusive.

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