Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been officially asked by a United Kingdom parliamentarian to take steps including engagement with the local government to close the medical practice of local cardiologist Dr Alfred Sparman.
The request from Member of Parliament Alec Shelbrooke in a letter dated August 9, 2019 and addressed to Minister of State for the Americas in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Christopher Pincher I asks that the FCO work with the Mia Mottley Administration to bring an end to the private clinic operated in Belleville St Michael.
Shelbrooke is the son-in-law of British citizen Gordon Spencer, who died in a British hospital on February 13 this year, after being in the care of the Sparman Clinic in Barbados for ten days.
Barbados TODAY broke the story on June 26 with Shelbrooke describing to the British Parliament “the barbaric treatment” that his father-in-law received at the clinic in Barbados, which he alleges “ultimately led to his death”.
Shelbrooke said in his letter to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that since raising the matter in Parliament the family was now in possession of the post mortem results.
“My father-in-law had operations at the Sparman clinic to put a stent in his artery, for which my family [was] charged 91,000 pounds sterling. However, my father-in-law never recovered from what had been a pneumonia infection and died at the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) after repatriation two weeks later,” the British parliamentarian wrote.
He went on to tell the FCO that when Spencer arrived at the Leeds facility the consultants were “struggling” to understand from his medical notes, why he was not recovering.
“The post mortem has revealed that they were unable to find any evidence of a stent having been inserted, in contradiction of the medical notes and for which the family was charged,” Shelbrooke stated.
His correspondence is also seeking the help of the FCO to contact and liaise with the Mia Mottley Administration to establish a copy of the medical licence to understand how Sparman meets the criteria in Barbados to practice medicine.
“I would also seek the help of the FCO to work with the Barbados Government to ultimately shut down this doctor to ensure that further British holiday-makers at this highly-visited tourist destination do not have to suffer the same way that…my family did,” Shelbrooke wrote to the Minister of State in the FCO.
But today, Sparman shot back in a strong defence against these latest accusations leveled at his clinic.
The cardiologist made it clear to Barbados TODAY that due to patient confidentiality and respect for the deceased, he would be limited in his comments.
Sparman first sought to put the issue in perspective by stating that Spencer was 86 years old with a history of heart attacks in the UK and had stents placed in his left anterior descending artery.
He was admitted to the Sparman Clinic and 4H Hospital with pneumonia in both lungs and a new heart attack. We worked diligently on this wonderful man,” the Barbadian cardiologist told Barbados TODAY.
While not addressing any issue pertaining to charges for his services, he said he has the evidence that he inserted a stent in Spencer’s artery, without which he would not have survived the flight back home.
“I was told by the insurance doctor to perform angioplasty and stenting on Mr Spencer before he leaves by air ambulance or he would not survive the journey. I agreed to this care management.
“I placed a stent in the 95 per cent stenosed left circumflex artery (the artery responsible for the heart attack). This procedure was successful and Mr Spencer was airlifted to the UK where sadly he died two weeks later.
“I find it very strange that the pathologist did not see the stent placed in the UK nor my stent,” Sparman declared.
In fact, he told Barbados TODAY he can see the stents from the evidence at his disposal.
“I have the entire procedure recorded as proof in my possession. And I can see stents in the left anterior descending artery and in the left circumflex,” the heart specialist contended.
“I offer condolences to the family. If someone feels that an injustice was done or substandard care performed, then the court is there to resolve these issues,” Sparman told Barbados TODAY.
Spencer, who had become ill while on a cruise with his wife Jackie had been treated by the ship’s doctor before being referred to the Sparman facility on arrival at the Bridgetown Port. [email protected]