The Doctor who was and still is news…
Posted September 4, 2008on:
|Pusrawi’s Dr Osman appears in public|
|Beh Lih Yi | Sep 4, 08 12:10pm malaysiakini.com|
|Dr Mohd Osman Abdul Hamid, the Puswari Hospital doctor who examined Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, appeared in public today to stand by his claim that he found no evidence of sodomy on the alleged victim.
Osman took leave from his hospital more than one month ago after his medical report on Saiful was mysteriously leaked on July 28.
The doctor, who was accompanied by his lawyers – M Puravelan and Yusri Kamarudin – called a press conference at the Bar Council auditorium at 12 noon today.
He confirmed that the statutory declaration, which was published in the Malaysia Today website was indeed signed by him.
“I am not involved in politics. I will always tell the truth,” said the soft-spoken bespectacled doctor who sounded slightly nervous.
He also expressed anger over the leaking of the medical report (left) which landed him in the spotlight.
In the statutory declaration, Osman stood by the medical report where he did not find any sign of sodomy after examining Saiful’s anus.
Saiful, 23, has claimed that he was sodomised by his 61-year-old ex-boss, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, on June 26. Anwar was subsequently charged with the offence six weeks later.
Osman said that he was calling the press conference “to clear his name.
Reading from a prepared statement, Osman said he went on leave as he came under pressure following a police investigation into his medical check-up on Saiful.
He also said that he did not know how his medical report on Saiful became public.
To a question if he was still in employment with Pusrawi, Osman said he would be returning to work “as soon as possible”.
He also dismissed claims that he was worried for his safety.
Below is Osman’s press statement:
“I am the doctor who affirmed the statutory declaration dated Aug 1, 2008.
I have had the chance to read the statutory declaration that has been put up on the website of Malaysia Today. I confirm that it is a true copy of my statutory declaration. I will now confirm that the contents of the statutory declaration is correct.
I had gone on leave. There was a lot of pressure on me. I am now back in Malaysia. There has been a lot of media statements in Malaysia made by various individuals.
Some of these statements have put me in a bad light both professionally and as a person. Please be assured that I had merely done my job as a doctor. I am not involved in politics. I will always tell the truth.
I have never at any time breached my professional ethics. I have always practised doctor-patient confidentiality.”
Below is the transcript from the question-and-answer session during the 15-minute press conference:
Where were you during this period (that you went ‘missing’)?
I was away, I was on holiday.
Did you go back to Burma?
(All) I can say (is) I was away.
You said you respect doctor-patient confidentiality. Why then did you make the statutory declaration and release the medical report?
There were a lot of statements in the Malaysian papers, I just want to clarify these things, I wanted to clear my name, that’s why I produced the statutory declaration.
No, I was not responsible (for the leaking of the) medical report.
Are you still with Pusrawi Hospital?
Yes, I think so, I am still on leave.
There is no threat but (due to) my experience after seeing the patient (Saiful), I myself felt very depressed and shaken – that was why I wanted to take leave. My hospital (then) advised me to take leave for a while (and now) I am back here.
As soon as possible.
Do you know how Malaysia Today got hold of your statutory declaration?
I don’t know.
Do you know how the medical report was leaked?
No, I don’t. I have no idea.
I am sad because my patient’s (medical record) was leaked from somewhere.
Are you angry?
Yes, I am very angry but this is out of my hand, I am not holding the patient’s folder all the time. If I am working as a doctor in my own clinic, this (record) will be under my hand.
You went on leave on your own accord?
They advised me to take leave because of my ‘experience’ (feeling afraid).
Do you still stand by the contents of the statutory declaration?
Yes, I confirm.
Not in danger.
Were you harassed by the police?
No, they never detained me.
Will you participate in any police investigation?
Puravalen: Our instruction is that he will cooperate with the police in the investigation. Yusri has also been interviewed by the police in respect of his professional relationship with Dr Osman.
Recently – a few days ago.
Which police took your statement?
From Bukit Aman (federal police headquarters).
You said you were depressed and shaken, why?
I wasn’t shaken. I was depressed after the police investigation, three times (of questioning), because I am not familiar and used to (dealing with) the police. I am a doctor, I have no experience in that kind of things. I didn’t even know that the patient (was Saiful), I didn’t know the name.
Do you have any idea whether you would be subpoenaed as a witness in Anwar’s trial?
Puravalen: Going on general circumstances, he would be a critical component for the chain of evidence, so it would be nothing unexpected if he gives evidence in court.
Are you still staying at the same place or have you moved somewhere else?
I am staying in Kuala Lumpur.