UPDATED: How Many Deaths Happened Because Then-Health Minister Philip Goddard Purchased Baxter Dialysis Machines?

baxter-poison-dialyzers.jpg

UPDATED: February 9, 2008

An anonymous reader sent the following in response to questions raised in our original story…

A. The machines were brought in by Brydens, who are the agents for Baxter.
http://www.brydenstt.com/pharmceuticals.asp

I do not know if Philip was associated with Brydens at that time.

B.  Philip got advice from PAHO not to purchase the Baxter machines, but he rejected it.

C.  Dr Estwick can easily review the files and read the advice if is is really interested in making sure it does not happen again.

D.  Dr Estwick can also try in vain to find any good reason why Philip ignored the technical advice.

E.  If Philip rejected technical advice, then he assumes liability for any decision he made.  Why would he do such a stupid thing?

F.  Many suffered because of his decision.

G.  I do not know how many died, but Dr Estwick can ask any nurse or doctor on that ward if he really wants to know.

Let justice be done!

Original Story As First Published… 

We hadn’t heard much about this issue, but one of our readers sent us the following article, which we print here without any changes…

If the DLP are interested in dealing with corruption, then let’s start with this.

Fact and public knowledge – Philip Goddard was the Minister of Health

Fact and public knowledge – Philip Goddard received advice from QEH and from PAHO not to purchase the known faulty Baxter dialysis machines.

Fact and public knowledge – Philip Goddard ignored the technocrats’ advice, without explanation, and unilaterally selected the Baxter machines.

Fact and public knowledge – The Baxter machines broke down within one year as expected.

Question: Was Philip Goddard’s family business given the lucrative contract to bring in the Baxter machines?

Question: Was Philip Goddard’s family business given the contract to maintain the machines?

Question: Was it in Philip Goddard’s personal financial interest to make sure that the dialysis machines were the most expensive to purchase and maintain?

Question: Was Philip Goddard’s financial interests not in conflict with what should be the Minister of Health’s interest?

If Philip Goddard’s family business was responsible for bring in the Baxter machines, then:-

1. Philip Goddard’s family business should pay back the all money paid to them.
2. Philip Goddard should pay the medical bills or funeral bills of all of those who suffered and died because of his decision to choose the Baxter machines.

Let justice be done.

Comment by Barbados Free Press

At the heart of this article is the question of Conflicts of Interest. IF Health Minister Goddard’s family business had anything to do with the dialysis machines, it puts him in a serious and indisputable conflict of interest. When patient deaths are brought into the story, it raises Mr. Goddard’s responsibility to a new level.

Prime Minister Thompson… If Mr. Goddard’s family business had anything to do with the dialysis machines, this is only one of a hundred unethical situations that occurred under the previous BLP government.

Mr. Prime Minister: Whatcha Gonna Do ‘Bout All This?

Further Reading

CNN Health: Dialysis Product May Be Behind Patient Deaths

Baxter Dialysis Equipment: Baxter Website

New York Times Article via Wisconsin Government: Baxter Finds Possible Link In 53 Deaths

33 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Health, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

33 responses to “UPDATED: How Many Deaths Happened Because Then-Health Minister Philip Goddard Purchased Baxter Dialysis Machines?

  1. ROBOT

    you really think that david thompson got de time to be engaged in digging at something like this ?

    man gi’ me a break !

    what is done is done
    the thing to do is to make sure that it does not happen again.

    ************

    BFP Says

    We’ll have to disagree on this one Robot. We think it is most important that persons responsible for unethical actions during the past administrations be held accountable.

    It is about ensuring that these things never happen again… and the best way to do that is to make individuals accountable for their own actions.

  2. Tony Hall

    BFP,
    I agree with you on this one. If lives were lost as a result of faulty machines the matter should be investigated, especially if as alleged he ignored advice from the technocrats.

  3. no name

    Why did everyone keep silent? Did they all die?
    How can so many people just keep quiet about something like this?

    ***********

    BFP comments,

    Put it on the list for all the times that Bajans now ask “Why didn’t the Nation News or the CBC cover this story?”

  4. Rumplestilskin

    This I remember. What is unfortunate, is that despite the concerns and queries on this matter, no one came forward to clear the air.

    Maybe there was justification for this purchase, in which case the citizens should have been told, to explain the error, if only hindsight.

    If however, it was an outrageous mistake in choice as it appeared, then also the explanation should have been brought to light.

    This is a classic case of lack of transparency pertaining to Government institutions that is apparent islandwide and certainly not satisfactory.

    Peace.

  5. DLP making friends with China

    Didn’t you hear?

    The DLP is busy making friends with China.

    CHINA.

    What do you have to say about that? Stupid BFP clown.

  6. reality check

    “What do you have to say about that? Stupid BFP clown”

    I think the DLP stated either in their manifesto or elsewhere “friends to all and satellites to none.”

    The question that needs to be asked, however, is will they be friends to Taiwan as well?

  7. eureka

    If the above allegations can be proven against the former Health Minister Philip Goddard, he should be held to account just like anybody else. If he is allowed to escape in this situation then you are telling me that there is one law for the Medes and the other for the Persians.

  8. Waterboy

    “Question: Was Philip Goddard’s family business given the lucrative contract to bring in the Baxter machines?”

    My recollection from what I read in the local media was that Brydens supplied the Baxter equipment not Goddard’s family business.

    “Question: Was Philip Goddard’s family business given the contract to maintain the machines?”

    If Brydens supplied them they most likely would have received the maintenance contract.

    I do not recollect any Goddards companies or associated companies being in the medical supply business in the past or to date.

    Can anyone else verify if all of the above is correct?

    ******************

    BFP Says

    You may be correct Waterboy, but none of us should have to guess when it comes to the expenditure of tax dollars.

    My friends, here is an illustration where transparency with public funds would have immediately removed any doubts about the propriety of the actions of the former health minister – at least in the awarding of the contracts (but not in the selection of the equipment)

    So how about it, former Minister of Health Goddard…. were any of the supply or ongoing contracts to do with the Baxter dialysis machines awarded to any firm that you or your family were associated with at time ?

  9. ROBOT

    man i will not spend any time on this crap except that we could make an example of mr goddard. if we are going to spend money and waste time -then stop short of slicing right through to real justice in this matter it would be better not to start.

    i am guided by the biblical injunction that advises that you should turn from your wicked ways and basically move forward . i would urge that we move forward and break down all the structures that allow these things to happen in an effort to make sure that they dont happen again.

    if the honourable david thompson is genuine in his concern about integrity , accountability, and anti-corruption he would ensure that enough is done to make this happen. if we are moving into a new era of transparency and corruption free pratices as indicated here on these blogs , then we must make it happen. let me warn though, that those who control the economy of barbados are the ones who really run this country and not necessarily the politicians so david has his work cut out. what he needs therefore is our very strong un-biased and bi-partisan support

  10. Philip Goddard? Oh my gosh, he was an old man when he was health minister. He must be in his dotage by now as that must have been over ten years ago.

    BFP – Don’t you think it is mischievous to speculate that his family interests might have been involved, without taking the trouble to find out who the local agents were?

    With all the chicanery of the BLP that you have rightly exposed since you started operations, isn’t this “possible” transgression of Philip Goddard really scraping the bottom of the barrel in muck-raking? Surely there are juicier and more reprehensible targets ready at hand?

    ***************

    BFP Says,

    The article was sent in by a reader and presented as we received it and said so.

    The Ministers of Government cannot have it both ways… they cannot conduct their business in secret and say we have no right to know the details about anything – and then say it is “unfair” and “muckraking” when we the citizens have questions.

    ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY, INTEGRITY MANDATED BY LAW

    You and the former Ministers of Government seem to have problems with the above concepts.

  11. Keltruth Corp.

    I know many Goddards, and I have always found them to be good honest people.

    I very much doubt that they would be involved in shady deals.

  12. Anonymous

    Let’s examine this more clearly.
    According to the writer ‘ Philip Goddard receive advice from QEH and PAHO ‘ not to purchase the faulty devices and Brydens was the agents that supplies them.
    Why did Goddard ignore the advice?
    What experience does he have in such things?
    What is the connection between Goddard and Brydens. Or more specifically Goddard and person[s] with Brydens?
    That my friends is the LINK that needs to be investigated.

  13. BFP- Contrary to your unfounded suggestion that I have trouble with Transparency, Integrity and Accountability, I have always supported you in this respect, as you should know.

    But I do not think you should pass on accusations of wrongdoing just because there MAY be some truth in it. You have a responsibility to verify that there are grounds for the accusation.

    Busy as your team may be, surely one of you could have checked if Goddards were the agents of the Baxter machines?

    Ministers do not make selections of this sort contrary to expert advice, and I would to know which technocrats’ advice he ignored, as it is supposedly public knowledge. He would only have chosen that machine if other experts gave it the green light.

    *************

    BFP says,

    Hi Naive,

    How can we check to see if Goddard’s were the agents for the machines? Where should we file our Freedom Of Information Request? At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital? With the current Minister of Health? Maybe with the Nation News?

    And what court will compel the government to provide us with that information and on the basis of what law?

    You see the problem, I’m sure.

    So no, we’re not going to round-file stories because we can’t prove the allegations. We will continue to ask questions until we see some transparency that has the force of law.

    Now… I’m sure that Goddards or the former Minister of Health have by now heard that BFP has published a reader’s article asking questions.

    We always make our space available for anyone who has been the subject of a story so they can have their say to the same readers, so we look forward to someone from either the firm or the former Minister himself to comment on the article or send us an email.

    Thanks!

  14. formerly anon

    How can we check to see if Goddard’s were the agents for the machines?

    ——————————————-

    a phone call ?? to Goddards or to Brydens

    just a suggestion

  15. formerly anon

    maybe a call to Baxters?

  16. formerly anon

    I guess calling people is what those stupid incompetent nation journalists would do

  17. formerly anon

    In fact back then there was a company actually providing a list of the shipping manifests of every shipment into Barbados and who was the consignee

  18. formerly anon

    wow my posts have not been deleted and my ip not blocked (yet)

    BFP must be feeling generous today

    Thank you BFP

  19. ROBOT

    based on my comment
    and subsequent comments by other commenters
    i am convinced that my position is the correct one
    i rest my case

  20. rock

    Hi Waterboy,
    To my knowledge, none of the Goddard owned or associated companies are or were involved with pharmaceuticals or medical equipment. Usually, a company has to be appointed as an official agent and possibly licensed especially when it comes to this type of device. You can’t just order it from a catalogue in Miami like you can order soup or shampoo.

  21. formerly anon

    quite correct rock and of course really not that hard to find who is the agent for Baxter.

  22. Rumplestilskin

    Keltruth Says ”I know many Goddards, and I have always found them to be good honest people.

    I very much doubt that they would be involved in shady deals.”

    Okay. But the problem is that without transparency and accountability, such that the reasons for major decisions are clear and fully accounted in a manner easily accessible by the public, questions will always be brought, particularly when a later problem arises as a result of the decision.

    Whether the decision maker had the best of intentions or not.

    Having said that, many feel the way you do.

    Although, there is a saying that one should never vouch for anyone else.

    Peace.

  23. Hard driver

    #
    eureka
    February 6, 2008 at 3:04 am

    If the above allegations can be proven against the former Health Minister Philip Goddard, he should be held to account just like anybody else. If he is allowed to escape in this situation then you are telling me that there is one law for the Medes and the other for the Persians.
    ………………………………………………………………

    Actually Eureka, If the above allegations can be proven against the former Health Minister Philip Goddard and he is NOT allowed to escape in this situation then there would be one law for the Medes and the other for the Persians.

  24. Rumboy

    Knowing Philip Goddard and having worked for him and his family, I doubt that he or they would put themselves in such a position and especially not for material gain. They don’t need it. Perhaps he really did not recieve the said advice and this ‘ recieving of advice ‘ only came after the machines were discovered to be faulty. Perhaps we could try and uncover who gave ‘ this advice ‘ before we start throwing rocks at every former BLP official.

  25. BFP- My quarrel is with your methodology, not the objective of exposing wrongdoing and calling to account those responsible.

    Your headline clearly implies that people died as a result of a decision by Philip Goddard which may well have been influenced by family connections.

    You did not say “Did any people die as a result…?”

    This is patently irresponsible on your part.

    You appear to be slipping back into the reprehensible habit of pushing out a flagrant accusation on the slimmest of evidence, and then hiding behind a cowaardly defense of “We are only trying to expose wrongdoing.”

    That is beneath your fine site. You do not need to stoop so low to provoke activity on your scoresheet.

  26. frankology

    Naive: I agree with your statement regarding “headlines’ that might create questionable views, unless these statements can be substantiated.

    Yes, it is true that around 50 deaths occurred worldwide, but none were attributed to Barbados. So at least we can breathe a sigh of relieve.

  27. ROBOT- I cannot agree with your feeling that “Your position is the correct one.”

    In saying “if he is allowed to escape…” you are clearly indicating that you think there is likely to be truth in the allegations that BFP is endorsing with their provocative headline.

    I cannot blame YOU for this. Many reading the article would draw the same conclusion.

    Which is why I take BFP to task for shoddy, almost unethical, journalism in this case.

    **********

    BFP says…

    And we take the last government AND the last two Health Ministers to task for their shoddy, almost unethical, failure to be transparent and accountable with the taxpayers’ funds.

  28. Pingback: Barbados Dialysis Machines: Update « Barbados Free Press

  29. Technician

    I would be wary of the Keltruth blog.

    *********

    BFP says,

    Alright, Technician, we’ll bite…

    Why should we be wary of the Keltruth blog?

  30. Bajan to de Bone

    Naive: You appear to be slipping back into the reprehensible habit of pushing out a flagrant accusation on the slimmest of evidence, and then hiding behind a cowaardly defense of “We are only trying to expose wrongdoing.”

    Which is why I take BFP to task for shoddy, almost unethical, journalism in this case.

    **********

    BFP says…

    And we take the last government AND the last two Health Ministers to task for their shoddy, almost unethical, failure to be transparent and accountable with the taxpayers’ funds.

    ******
    Man you boys and girl at B.F.P. just coming across as a bunch of haters. Naive’s comments and your response say it all. You all really ain’t no different to the politicians whom you decry. Anytime anyone raises a valid point not in your favour you get evasive, petty and/or personal.

    And by the way as Bajans you ought to know that Brydens and Goddards ain’t the same company. I know for a fact that once Phillip Goddard decided to become involved in elective politics he resigned from Goddards and has not or is not involved in any way in the company founded by his grandfather. How I know this – I own a few shares which entitle me to attend the AGM. Shame on you all once again for trying to smear people with innuendo and then trying to justify it.

  31. Rumboy

    You are correct. Mr Goddard resigned from the family business many years before getting into politics.

  32. ??

    Rumboy check your facts you are incorrect in your last statement. Goddard was a senator while still in family buisness, as I recall he resigned when he was made a Minister.

  33. Anon

    Then Brydens (now subsidiary of Ansa) has nothing to do with Goddards, in fact, I would have said they were competitors.

    Stupid point.