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Two fined by judge after death of five-year-old boy

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec. 31, 2008) – The Fiji Medical Association (FMA) has called for charges on the two doctors implicated in the Shavneet Kumar case to be dropped.

FMA President Dr Ifereimi Waqanibete told Fijilive the two doctors - Luke Nasedra and Teresa Lum who had been charged with negligence - had been treated unfairly by the Public Service Commission.

"As indicated in the hearing there were numerous factors, which led to the death of Shavneet," he said.

Dr Waqanibete supported a statement by Dr Adam Black - an Australian who was visiting lecturer in anaesthesia at the Fiji School of Medicine and worked at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital - that it was unwise to blame Shavneet’s death on negligence of doctors when the equipment used during the surgery was problematic.

The consultant anaesthetist claimed to be at a meeting where it was asked whether (PSC chairman) Rishi Ram could withdraw the charges.

Interim Health Minister Dr Jiko Luveni said while faulty equipment had been a problem, the ministry could confirm that it was a thing of the past.

Dr Luveni said she did not wish to comment on the fines imposed on the two doctors.

"PSC has made its decision and there is nothing further I wish to comment on this matter," she said.

Dr Waqanibete said he was not aware if the doctors were appealing against the decision but he advised them to do so, adding that it was the best thing to do.


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