Saturday, June 19, 2010

27/5/10 Botswana Health Professions Council (BHPC) Clarification on Dr. Donald Milton Wells' Matter

source: Republic of Botswana (6/6/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 6 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"

C6) 27/5/10 Botswana Health Professions Council (BHPC) Clarification on Dr. Donald Milton Wells' Matter

Dr Donald Milton Wells' registration to practice medicine was suspended by the Botswana Health Professions Council in May 2006 pending the outcome of investigations into the possibility that the documents he had used to obtain registration in 2002 were false or fraudulent. The investigations involved communication with multiple authorities in several countries.

Dr Donald Milton Wells filed an application with Francistown High Court case number MAH 000052/08.

The relief he was seeking was as follows:-

* Setting aside the decision of the Botswana Health Professions Council (BHPC) in suspending the applicant and or refusing to renew his practicing certificate as a medical practitioner in Botswana
* Ordering the respondents to renew his practicing license
* Ordering the respondents to reinstate the applicant as a practicing medical doctor in Botswana
* As well as payment of legal costs (which is standard).

The court as per Hon Justice Z. Makhwade on the 12 June 2009 ordered that:-

* The decision of the Botswana Health Professions Council in refusing to renew the registration of Dr. Wells be set aside
* That the respondents pay the applicants costs.

One must note that Dr Wells won the case on technicalities, not on the substantive issues; nevertheless the Council reinstated him in compliance with the court order, but continued with its investigations.

The respondents are awaiting the taxation of the applicant's bill of costs estimated at P15, 000 only.

Dr. Wells on the 17th day of December 2009 per Case number MAHLB 000797/2009 made another application at the High Court this time sitting at Lobatse before the Hon Mr. Justice L.S Walia seeking the following relief:-

* Reviewing and setting aside the decision by the Minister of Labour & Home Affairs cancelling the applicants Residence Permits and ancillary Work Permit NO 1404/04
* Declaring that the cancellation of the afore said permit by the Minister of Labour & Home Affairs was unlawful and therefore null and void
* Directing the applicant's aforesaid permit to be re-issued to the applicant
* Payment of legal costs

By consent, the High Court ordered the stay of the execution of the cancellation of the applicants residence permit pending review by the court

Pending the outcome of the review Dr. Wells was specifically prohibited from engaging in any employment in Botswana

The Court took this decision because of the overwhelming evidence of forgery and false documents presented by Botswana Health Professions Council in court.

Dr. Wells had sent a notice of intention to sue Botswana Health Professions Council in November 2009 for loss of earnings in the sum of P468 000 and general damages in the sum of P50 000; dating from the time of Botswana Health Professions Council suspension of his registration in 2006.

The statutory notice did not disclose the cause of action as required. Hence, Botswana Health Professions Council still awaits clarity from Dr. Well's lawyers and court process. There is no court order ordering the BHPC to pay Dr Wells any damages.

The Botswana Health Professions Council received information and later to be confirmed by an affidavit from Mrs. Suzanne Lofton Miranda de Cantu, Director of Foreign Student Affairs the Universidad Mexico Americano del Norte in respect of Dr. Wells that:-

* The signature and the stamp on Dr Wells certificate of completion of Internship document submitted to BHPC were forged
* He did not complete his internship in Mexico
* The pre graduate Internship conclusion certificate submitted to BHPC is a forgery, the so called internship having been done at a hospital that does not exist in Mexico.
* He did not complete his degree as a doctor. Therefore he is not licensed to practice medicine in Mexico.

Further investigations into to Dr. Wells's documents and collaboration with other regulatory bodies have revealed that:-

* Doctor Wells' certificate of examination from the American Board of General Practice submitted to the BHPC was a forgery.
* Evidence in BHPC possession clearly shows that Dr Wells is not ECFMG certified that is by Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates in USA and therefore not qualified to practice medicine in USA.
* The Medical Council of Tasmania informed the General Medical Council in London who in turn informed BHPC that the Medical License number J9436 used by Dr. Wells to apply for registration in Tasmania belongs to a doctor in Texas with similar names (Donald Thomas Wells) who was however born on the 1 November 1961 whereas Dr Wells was born on the 28 October 1943.
* The Certificate of Good Standing purporting to be from Texas Medical Board signed by a person, who ceased working in Texas Medical Board 4 years earlier than the date borne on the document, confirms yet another forgery supplied by Dr. Wells to facilitate his registration.

Based on the above overwhelming evidence as well as that received from the University of Mexico, The Botswana Health Professions Council Full Council meeting held of the 13 March 2010 ratified that Dr. Wells' registration be duly cancelled as per the unambiguous provisions of the Botswana Health Professions Act CAP 61:02.

BHPC has sent the letter to his last known address advising him of the cancellation.

Even if Dr Wells had not been deported from Botswana, it would have been very unlikely that any court properly guided with overwhelming and irrefutable evidence of his true "qualifications" would grant him damages for the 3 years that he was not practicing as a doctor, because Dr Wells is not a Doctor, he must refund all his employers in Botswana because his registration was obtained by falsified documents.

The Botswana Health Professions Council will continue to crack the whip on all Medical practitioners whose qualifications are falsified and therefore urges the public to help it with information to enable it to do a good job in this regard.

For further clarification please contact: Felicity Nteke Gochani- Sebeso, Acting Registrar (BHPC). Contact numbers: 3632823/3190749/3914672

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