A general surgeon is suing Western Health, saying its leaders and a group of specialists unfairly forced him to take a leave of absence from his practice in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Dr. Mylvaganam Kathirgamanathan, who is known in Newfoundland as Dr. Mylo Kathir, has filed a statement of claim saying the health authority bowed to pressure from other doctors who refused to work with him.
“Western Health caused Dr. Kathir to suffer damages, including harm to his professional reputation and loss of income,” according to the claim, filed September 2016.
But the health authority, in its own statement to the court, says it has heard significant concerns about Kathir’s competence.
Relationship began changing in 2015
Kathir, who practised in Newfoundland and Labrador for about 25 years, advised Western Health in 2016 that he was taking a leave of absence.
He said his trouble with the health authority began the previous year, when its officials started giving his operating room time to other surgeons.
‘Western Health improperly and unlawfully accepted and acquiesced to the decision by the Department of Perioperative Medicine.’
– Mylo Kathirgamanathan’s statement of claim
In court documents, Kathir says that when he complained about it, the chief of surgery at Western Memorial Hospital, Dr. Peter Blackwood, suggested he should resign or retire.
“Dr. Blackwood said if Dr. Kathir resigned, then Dr. Blackwood (and others) could make the allegations against him by other physicians go away,” says Kathir in the statement of claim.
According to the documents, Kathir’s lawyer filed in St. John’s, Western Health officials told him resigning would be easier than what might happen if he continued to try working.
“Dr. Blackwood told Dr. Kathir that if Western Health referred the allegations against him to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland [it] would suspend or remove Dr. Kathir’s medical licence and he would be…