Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 16th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, October 16, 2014
6.1000 6.2435 6.3933
5.2462 5.5223 5.8260
9.4516 9.9490 10.4863
7.5043 7.8993 8.3338
****** 0.0583 0.0618
2.1051 2.2881 2.4483
* 2.5600 ****** 3.2610
for OCTOBER 15TH, 2014
Public Services Association
president Watson Duke yesterday
demanded $10 million in insur-
ance for doctors, nurses and all
health care workers who would
potentially have to deal with the
Ebola virus if it entered T&T.
He said those workers should
be paid four times their original
salaries whether they contracted
the disease or not.
Duke also threatened to stop
"We have influence and the
power to make things happen or
to change the direction of things
and when we say there shall be
no Carnival, there will be none,"
He also demanded that Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
should make a public statement
expressing Government s policy
measures on the virus and that
Health Minister Fuad Khan must
provide proper training for hospital
staff by sending a medical team
to Africa to gain practical experi-
ence of treatment for the virus.
He made those demands during
a press conference at the Eric
Williams Medical Sciences Com-
plex, Mt Hope, yesterday, while
doctors, nurses and other staff
He complained that Khan had
misled the country when he said
health institutions were 75 per cent
ready for the Ebola virus.
He added: "It is a hoax. Hos-
pitals are not ready. They have no
medication, no test kits to test for
Ebola. They have some jokey suits
available and this is why the media
has not been invited on a tour.
"They do not know what they
are doing. They are playing a hit-
and-miss game and so we have
"The days for ole talk is over.
He (Khan) has to come clear with
us and settle the score with all the
stakeholders and so we reject the
view that we are 75 per cent ready.
We believe that it is more 25 per
Duke said the PSA believed peo-
ple who were at risk of coming in
contact with an Ebola patient and
becoming contaminated must be
given insurance of $10 million and
that money must be made avail-
able and placed in escrow for them.
"We are talking about port
health workers. We are talking
about immigration, customs, air-
ports authority, ambulance drivers,
attendants, dieticians, nurses and
"This is not just a doctor busi-
ness. Who told them it is only
doctors alone at risk? It is every-
body s business and so everybody
must be paid quadruple their salary
and must be given extensive train-
ing," he added.
He said the PSA was moving
toward a strike of the entire health
care system and added that T&T
should not send aid to Africa but
should partner with African coun-
tries to send a medical team abroad
to learn best practices in treating
with the virus.
"So send these workers out
there, protect them and let them
come back and deal with this first-
"If they fail to make us ready,
we will be taking action. Right
now we are mobilising because
the nation needs to be safe," he
Speaking out against temporary
visa bans to be applied to certain
countries, Duke said he did not
support any temporary meas-
"We support T&T being ready
to treat with Ebola. We may have
nationals abroad in African coun-
tries who may want to come back
home. Do we discriminate against
their spouses?" he asked.
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan is appealing to
health sector workers not to use the Ebola crisis to
extort money by creating unnecessary panic with
claims that there are Ebola-infected people in T&T.
There have been rumours that a visitor who had
entered the country three weeks ago and exhibited
symptoms associated with the deadly virus had died
of Ebola. Responding yesterday Khan said that was
He said: "Those reports are erroneous. The man
was diagnosed with malaria and he has not died."
He repeated earlier statements that there were no
confirmed or suspected Ebola cases in T&T.
Rumours also began circulating early yesterday that
nurses at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex,
Mt Hope, were refusing to work because of the possible
exposure to the virus and the resultant effects.
Referring to these claims as a smokescreen by the
staff, who were due to meet with the Public Services
Association (PSA) yesterday, to discuss demands for
increased compensation, Khan said:
"Ebola is a very serious matter and is not something
for people to play with but there are some who are
wont to create an unnecessary panic in the country.
"It is unfair to the people of T&T but there are the
few who want to use Ebola to benefit."
Labelling those people "as greedy," Khan accused
them of holding the country to ransom by demanding
payment for their assistance in staving off the epidemic
from entering and spreading across T&T.
He said while nations around the globe were uniting
to fight the epidemic, locals were devising ways to
"place the country under the gun" by threatening to
withhold their services.
Khan added those actions were doing the country
an injustice and were unfair and he urged them to
"stop it and assist us" in ensuring the virus did not
enter the country.
He said there would be time to discuss the issue of
compensation but right now all hands were needed
in the Ebola fight.
The winning key drawn yesterday on Crime
Watch was 937017.
If your key at the back of your yesterday s T&T
Guardian has the number 937017, you now have
until 5 pm tomorrow to come to the T&T Guardian,
22-24, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain, with your
copy of the T&T Guardian newspaper (complete
newspaper) containing the winning key at the back
and a photo identification.
Once there, you can choose to take the regular
jackpot of $4,500 cash or you can pick one of
three suitcases for a chance to double your jackpot
and win $9,000.
Also, tune in to Crime Watch tonight from 6
pm on CNC3. If the number drawn during Crime
Watch matches the number on your key at the
back of your today s T&T Guardian, then you win
Fuad: Don't use
crisis to extort $
The Lucky Key 'Pick & Win'
regular jackpot at $4,500
demand big bucks
Ebola scare at hospitals so...
A health worker examines a man suffering from Ebola at a
treatment centre in Monrovia, Liberia, yesterday. Some doctors in
countries hit hardest by the deadly virus decline to operate on
pregnant women for fear it could spread. Governments face calls
from frightened citizens to bar travel to and from the afflicted
region. AP PHOTO
Doctors also demand higher salaries
Doctors are also demanding
enhanced pay packages if they are
part of the Ebola response team.
CNC3 News reported last night
that following a meeting among
medical practitioners on Monday at
the Eric Williams Medical Sciences
Complex, a memo was sent to the
Director of Health of the North
Central Health Authority Dr Rodney
Ramroop, following a meeting on
Monday, outlining the proposed
terms and conditions.
In it, medical chief of staff for
the North Central Regional Health
Authority Dr Andy Bhagwandass
says all medical doctors are of the
view that all infrastructure and
equipment must be put in place to
care for a patient and ensure full
protection of medical doctors.
According to the memo, the
team will involve all grades of
medical doctors who form part of
the Ebola response team, including
a payment of three times their
salary, in addition to their existing
salary, a $10 million payment to the
family of the deceased in the event
of death of a medical practitioner,
separate from any insurance
coverage, and a lumpsum payment
if a health worker contracts the
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