Four members of the Pharmacy Board of T&T are requesting information from president Andrew Rahaman ahead of the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) due in February.
They include Ministry of Health-appointed members Junia Walcott and Clinton Sahadeo, the Medical Board appointees Dr Aruna Singh and Dr Neil Singh.
The council has ten members, with the other six elected by the members of the Pharmacy Board.
In three-page letter sent yesterday, the group asked seven questions of Rahaman seeking information ahead of the AGM, including how many registered pharmacists there were in the country up to 2022.
When Guardian Media contacted Rahaman yesterday, however, he said he was yet to receive any letter or email.
He admitted to not being happy about the February 7 deadline given by the members.
Claiming he had also been threatened by some members, Rahaman said, “So, I would say publicly to hell with them with giving me deadlines. Who are they? I am the chairman of this board, I am the one with the legal knowledge, I am not letting non-elected members come and rule this thing, you know.”
Rahaman said he had made a report at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) about recent threats.
The Pharmacy Board president said this was one of the reasons he was yet to schedule a date for the AGM.
Addressing this, appointed board member Sahadeo said it’s important that they get information about the board’s operations before they attend the AGM and are blindsided.
“All we asking is that we get the information about the profession,” Sahadeo said.
The impasse between the appointed members and Rahaman stemmed from the board’s failure to submit the practising certificate applications of pharmacists to the Ministry of Health on time.
The licenses expired on the weekend of January 14-15 before the ministry gave pharmacists an extension to ensure there was no disruption of pharmaceutical services in either the public or private health sector.
Rahaman came under fire for the submission failure but instead blamed the ministry of the delay, noting it was not recognising board secretary/registrar Suann Joseph-Mouttet’s eligibility to conduct the process.
Rahaman revealed that they had paid off the $TT236,250 in rent owed to Group of Professional Associations Ltd for their headquarters.
“We paid off the debt plus $16,875 because a new month rent became due...We owe zero dollars as of a few weeks ago,” he said.
The group is also questioning Rahaman’s $10,000 consultancy fee and his holding the office for 20 years.
But Rahaman said he has done everything according to the act and regulations.
“I won the election on the year 2000. We had election in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022 and I won all...the democratic process occurred,” he said.
He explained that the during the last election, five people’s nominations were invalid and the sixth person made a mistake on her nomination form.
He said the ministry’s appointees were invited to an emergency meeting on Monday but refused to meet. He explained that the Medical Board appointees also told him they were not available for the meeting.