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Sunday 26 May 2019
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Medical Board won’t take Dr Murray’s fees

Dr Conrad Murray
Dr Conrad Murray

UNITED STATES medical doctor Conrad Murray has taken legal action against the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago (MBTT) over its refusal to accept his annual registration fees to allow him to practice medicine here.

Murray, 62, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop icon Michael Jackson who died in 2010 from cardiac arrest. After serving two of a four-year sentence in the US, Murray, who is Grenadian-born but migrated to Trinidad with his parents as a boy, served two years and was released.

Late US pop star Michael Jackson

However, his Texas, California and Nevada medical licenses were suspended. A trained cardiologist, Murray, who was first registered to practice in TT after he qualified as a medical doctor, returned to TT following his release in 2013. He began practicing medicine at a private nursing home in Chaguanas. However, the MBTT refused to accept his annual registration fees on the ground that he needed to furnish a certificate of good standing. MBTT is contending that when fees are not paid over a number of years, such a certificate is required in order to issue a licence a doctor to practice medicine in accordance with the Medical Board Act.

MBTT’s national register as of 2017, however, lists Murray as a registered doctor with the word “abroad” in brackets next to his name. The council of the MBTT met last month and the issue of the acceptance of Murray’s backdated fees was listed for discussion. It was not.

On Friday, attorneys acting for Murray who is currently abroad sent a pre-action protocol letter to the MBTT threatening legal action and requesting the fees be accepted. Attorneys acting for Murray are Jagdeo Singh, former Industrial Court judge Dinesh Rambally, and Kiel Taklalsingh. The letter condemned the MBTT’s previous contention that Murray was not registered to practice in TT and note that the council’s March 7, 2018 list of medical practitioners cite Murray as a registered medical doctor. A Sunday Newsday online check yesterday of the list of medical practitioners has Murray as a registered doctor with the MBTT.

The letter states, “It stands clear and an unequivocal representation to my client that he is authorised by the MBTT and its council, to practice medicine within this jurisdiction. In this regard, I am instructed that despite several attempts in the past by my client to pay annual registration fees, the Medical Board has refused to accept these fees and not provide to my client any reason for this refusal.”

The attorneys’ letter went on to state that by virtue of publishing Murray’s name on its registered list of doctors, meant that there is no bar to accepting his registration fees. The letter threatened that any further refusal of his fees would be unlawful “and may be perceived as an attempt to constructively de-register my client as a bona fide medical practitioner”.

It further states that Murray would be making arrangements against to have the outstanding fees paid in full.

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