A senior vascular surgeon yesterday said he’d prescribed a week of antibiotics to Jameel Ali, former consultant with the Hindu Credit Union (HCU), who has been subpoenaed to appear before the Sir Anthony Colman Commission of Enquiry into the HCU’s collapse. Questioned yesterday by Queen’s Counsel to the commission, Edwin Glasgow, Dr Ammiel Arra said he signed and stamped on June 7, a sick-leave certificate for Ali. The doctor said at the time he examined Ali, he found him to have symptoms reflecting his (the doctor’s) diagnosis. Told by Glasgow that the commission was reliably informed Ali has been seen up and about, the doctor replied: “I haven’t seen him since. I’m not sure if he’s improved. At the time, he was definitely ill. I did issue treatment.” Glasgow asked the doctor whether he’d indicated to Ali that he had to go abroad for treatment, the doctor said: “I didn’t give him that advice. Not at all.” The enquiry was told Ali indicated he had been diagnosed with atypical pneumonia, for which he was granted 14 days sick leave by Arra. The June 7, 2012, certificate bore a Ministry of Health Port-of-Spain General Hospital stamp.
According to the certificate, which the Guardian obtained a copy of, showed Ali informing the commission that his doctor had informed him “I may have to go abroad for further treatment if necessary.” “Confidentially, I tell (sic) that last year I was hospitalised for two weeks with the same condition. As a result, the doctor has ordered that I take no chances.” According to the Web site paediatrics.net Web, atypical pneumonia is a severe lung infection usually caused by bacteria, such as streptococcus pneumoniae, haemophilus influenzae or klebsiella pneumoniae, and typically strikes older individuals with heart or lung conditions. When Sir Anthony asked the doctor whether he’d prescribed a treatment of antibiotics and if it would have been for a week, the doctor said, “I believe it would have been for a week. At last week’s June 8 hearing, Sir Anthony described former HCU official Ashvani Mahabir as being among a “category of people” who can give relevant testimony. His attorney, Margaret Rose, said he was ill and was in a private facility, which was not identified. It was said at the same day’s hearing that Rabindra Bachan, former HCU CEO, had a stent placed in his leg because of “ongoing circulatory problems.”