A fellow colleague from India has stepped up in defence of Dr Mahesh Reddy, the Chief Medical Officer of Bermuda Healthcare Services.
Dr Reddy was arrested by police following an early morning raid at his home in May in connection with an ongoing investigation on suspicion of “overusing MRI and CT scanners to make more money”.
In a letter to the editor of Bermuda Real, Dr Shivalingaiah Rao, MBBS, MD, a General Physician based in Chembur, Mumbai in India, said he was “shocked” to hear of Dr Reddy’s arrest.
“If such a misuse was indeed true, then there would have been patient and insurance companies’ complaints to the medical board or council many years ago,” said Dr Rao.
“I don’t know what one can say about this other than this is definitely not on in any civilized society,” he added.
He noted that Dr Reddy “has been serving an island nation of about 60,000 people for over 15 years”, and all of a sudden he’s “suspected of overuse of MRI and CT scans”.
“I have been to the USA and Europe many times for symposiums, seminars and so on. You must see to believe the unnecessary tests and medications prescribed by the doctors there,” Dr Rao said.
“We in India thought Bermuda was a democracy with a rule of law, as we have always had a high opinion of UK.
“It is indeed sad that an Indian origin doctor is being treated in this shabby manner after serving a small community nation for so long. This does not bode well for the island nation and will certainly not be an incentive for any Indian origin doctor to either visit or serve there, irrespective of the monetary compensation offered.”
Dr Rao concluded: “I do not know if this is a case of plain racism as practiced in some parts of UK, US and the world or if it is political rivalry between parties that has jeopardized the career of the Indian origin physician. Regardless, this is clearly completely unfair to the Indian origin physician and is a blot on the reputation of Bermuda as a democratic country.”
Former Premier Dr Ewart Brown held a news conference last month to challenge police to “put up or shut up”.
He urged the police to either charge him with a criminal offence or end their “fruitless investigation”. Dr Brown also chastised police for what he termed an “unjust and unwarranted arrest” in what was really an attempt to discredit him.
That arrest, said Dr Brown “was really an extension of the witch-hunt” that has followed him for years.
The Bermuda Police Service confirmed an investigation was launched four years ago. Dr Brown said the sole purpose of that investigation was aimed at finding evidence of “bribery and political corruption”.
“This nonsense must stop and I have appointed high-level legal counsel to challenge this harassment,” said Dr Brown.
“After many years of fruitless investigation, it is time for the prosecutors and the police to put up or shut up and let us get on with the vital business of helping people with their healthcare needs.
“They have tried many times to prove I have done something wrong but not one of their claims has ever been substantiated.
“They don’t like me. They don’t like the fact — and I’m not saying anything about the other [black Progressive Labour Party] premiers — but my substance and style was different. I think they saw me as defiant. I think they saw me as a troublemaker, therefore they do not want history to record that I got away with it.
“All of a sudden, we now find the focus is Bermuda Healthcare Services. It was bribery and political corruption. Having found nothing there, the effort is now aimed at the source of my income, which is Bermuda Healthcare, and there will be other things that you will see in the future that will confirm that,” said Dr Brown.
He stressed that “these suspicions are completely unfounded”. And he was confident that Dr Reddy will be “vindicated” in the long run.
Dr Brown has retained Queens Counsel Jerome Lynch, who told reporters that the police raided Dr Reddy’s home without a search warrant. “He is being treated like some kind of common criminal without any respect being given to a man who has served the country for 16 years. It’s an extraordinary turn of events,” said Mr Lynch.
He also said he plans to challenge the police. Said Mr Lynch: “Watch this space.”
By Ceola Wilson