Dr. Imhoff must be supported


Dear Editor,
The fact that medical officer Dr. Helen Imhoff has had to ventilate her emotional hurt and otherwise via your media, concerning her experience of an alleged assault by Commissioner Robeson Benn, has to be primarily because she feels done in, given the fact that she seems to stand alone, after being the recipient of such alleged crudity.

One can/should appreciate her agony, felt in her account as to how such a beastly encounter would have affected her; and how she has managed to cope with the psychological aftermath, as she continued to execute her professional mandate of helping to safeguard lives, inclusive of that of Commissioner Benn, which he definitely cannot appreciate, if one were refer to comments made on the perceived pace of the recount process, almost two weeks ago.

This is a clear act of bullyism, disturbingly exacted on a female, by a very senior member of a key constitutional organ. I am certain, that such a cave man attitude, is not part of the personal deportment that would be expected of any member of any similar bodies. But here again, and without any hint of prejudice, Benn is affiliated to a political outfit in which bullyism is its interfacing culture, for its known sin qua non. There are numerous examples of this display over time, by the PPP/C that needs no repeat here. It is its staple.

What if the Government Medical Officer (GMO) had been a male, and in a reflex action, had responded to Benn? Would we not have been hearing the entire Freedom House rooftops coming off, shouting assault and disrespect to the holder of a constitutional office? Given the well-known, devious proclivity for spin by the PPP/C, only Benn’s story would have been aired to suit.

The fact that Dr. Imhoff has resigned, should signal how she feels about Benn’s totally inappropriate and unfair action, allegedly committed, during the course of her professional duties. This brings the issue to the question as what support has been given her by her subject ministry? The fact that Minister of Social Services, Madame Amna Ally has questioned the absence of police action, begs the question as to whether Dr. Imhoff herself, has since reported the incident, or whether the two ministries have taken the responsibility in doing so?

One hopes that that it is not the same old resume of law enforcement, indeed as reported that the police is in receipt of such a report, but hesitant to act, because of who the alleged assailant is. From a laymen’s point, there are two charges that can be exacted against Benn: The first for obstruction of professional duties/assault. We cannot speak of protecting our womenfolk, and be selective of whom must be held accountable, when such incidents, as the one involving Dr. Imhoff occur.

The fact that Commissioner Benn is prepared to describe her accusations as ‘’ridiculous’’, says as much for the way that he perceives women.

Lastly, it was not mentioned in the Guyana Chronicle’s account of her trauma. Dr. Imhoff must not be made to feel disillusioned. The fact that she has resigned, perhaps signals such a feeling. She must be supported by all the agencies concerned.
Carla Mendonca