Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 8th 2014 Contents SASCHA WILSON
Less money to do
more. That s one of the
major challenges facing
the South West Regional
(SWRHA), said CEO
Speaking at the
SWRHA s public board
meeting at San Fernan-
do city auditorium on
Thursday night, Gosine
said the authority had
received a significant
decrease in its budget
allocation from the Min-
istry of Health even as
the services, facilities and
patient visits increased.
In addition, Gosine said
the authority also had to
grapple with an acute
staff shortage and an
inefficient supply of
Presenting the fiscal-
year report for 2013-2014,
Gosine said for fiscal
2013, the SWRHA sub-
mitted a budget proposal
of $977 million and $879
million was allocated, a
shortfall of $98 million
or ten per cent of the total
In fiscal 2014, he said,
the authority submitted
a budget proposal of
$1.04 billion but only
$845 million was allocat-
ed, a shortfall of $186
million and $25 million
less than what was
received in 2013.
And in fiscal 2014, he
said, the authority had
exceeded its expense allo-
cation by approximately
For October 1, 2014 to
September 30, 2015, he
said the ministry had
allocated $810 million,
which was $246 million
short of the $1.07 billion
"This is $91 million less
than our actual spending
in 2013-2014 and $69
million short of the actual
spending in 2013-2014.
With this deficit from
2013-2014 expended, we
now have to include this
liability to fully opera-
tionalise the San Fernan-
do Teaching Hospital."
"In essence," he added,
"we are being asked to
do more with less."
Gosine said he had
spoken to the chairman,
Lackram Bodoe, who has
promised that the budget
would increase in mid-
"We are working with
that promise," he added.
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SWRHA's CEO on allocations:
Despite the measures being taken by the Government, Gosine said SWRHA
continued to face an acute shortage of trained manpower at all levels of the
He said the total number of positions on SWRHA's monthly paid employees
"There are only 4,096 monthly paid employees employed, comprising
Cabinet and board-approved posts, and 3,413 vacancies."
Gosine said there were still 145 vacancies for doctors and 992 nursing
vacancies. Many of the well-qualified and trained nurses, he said, were being
recruited by local private institutions and international organisations.
Gosine also appealed to Nipdec's C40 unit through the ministry to improve
its inventory and delivery systems to ensure timely dispensing of drugs.
The unit acquires drugs for regional health authorities.
Noting that the total medications not dispensed to patients from the
hospital in 2013 and 2014 were 33,115 and 67,573 respectively, he said: "This is
due mainly to the late and non-receipt of drugs from Nipdec's C40."
"We are in a state of readiness and preparedness."
So says SWRHA's director of health Dr Shevanand Gopeesingh, who is in
charge of co-ordinating all the activities associated with the Ebola virus.
He said the SWRHA was working closely with the ministry and weekly
meetings were being held with all stakeholders to sensitise, educate and
share information about the virus.
Gopeesingh said the SWRHA's duty was to identify, isolate, provide
intravenous fluids where necessary and transport the patient to the North
Central Regional Health Authority to be taken to Caura Hospital.
Gosine said there were two suspected cases of Ebola in County Victoria last
month but the period of surveillance had now elapsed and no clinical signs
and symptoms of the virus had been observed.
Gosine also said the south-west region had recorded a total of 27 patient
admissions for suspected chikungunya, with no confirmed cases as of
Asked to do
more with less
e, Sarah Jane
a national gift
from T&T to
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