Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 27th 2015 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan yesterday
knocked doctors for failing to attend the
world federation of neurosurgical societies
educational seminar, saying they missed
out on a unique opportunity to enhance
He was delivering the feature address at
the opening ceremony at the Radisson Hotel,
The two-day seminar was held in con-
junction with the Government of the People s
Republic of China and the World Federation
of Neurosurgical Societies.
The seminar was aimed at giving doctors
new information on neurosurgical procedures.
T&T has a shortage of neurosurgeons and
foreign doctors from China and Cuba have
been hired to meet the medical demands.
The minister said close to 80 doctors were
personally invited but less than half attend-
"When I look at what we are dealing with
here I am a bit saddened that many of our
senior doctors did not take this approach to
be here," Khan said.
He added that given the scarcity of local
neurosurgeons it would have been particularly
important for them to attend as the seminar
covered a host of significant topics, including
cerebral vascular disease, brain tumours, skull
base lesions and spine problems.
"We have a host of international speakers
and it brought home to me a simple point.
I am Minister of Health but I am also a sur-
geon and I would have loved to have sat here.
These topics bring forth something that is
not available in T&T from an internationally
accredited group of neurosurgeons.
"I am caught between the political world
and I am caught between the medical world
and when I see things like this it brings a
sort of nostalgia... that I would like to par-
ticipate in medical education," Khan said.
In emphasising his point that local doctors
needed to appreciate and participate in such
seminars Khan shared a snippet of his child-
He said at age 15 he decided to learn karate
and was training among the white belts but
his instructor encouraged him to train with
the black belts instead.
"When I asked my instructor why train
with the black belts he said, If you train
with white belts you will always be a white
belt but if you train with black belts you will
become a black belt even though you are not
one so you have to train with someone who
"My doctors who are not here... you will
stay as white belts," Khan added.
Echoing the minister s sentiments, acting
Chief Medical Officer Dr Colin Furlonge urged
doctors and nurses to embrace every oppor-
tunity adding: "You could never be amongst
mediocre and expect to excel."
Asked after why so many doctors failed
to show Khan said he could not answer.
The long-awaited compressed natural
gas (CNG) powered Sunlong buses have
finally hit the streets, even though the
Public Transport Service Company
(PTSC) is still awaiting approval for its
On Friday Carl Ramdeo, deputy general
manager of PTSC, marketing and com-
munications, in a telephone interview, said
all 35 buses, purchased at a cost of $38
million from China last year, were added
to the corporation s routes.
He said 20 of the buses were added to
the routes last Thursday and the remaining
15 were put into circulation on Friday.
"The buses will be running East to West
and North to South. The fares for using
the buses will be the same fares between
$4 and $6, depending on the route. The
fees did not change," he said.
He said the buses, five articulated, 15
regular large and 15 medium-sized, all have
on-board cameras for safety.
Ramdeo said PTSC was still waiting for
final approval from the National Gas Com-
pany on its CNG refuelling station at South
In the interim, he said, PTSC was using
private CNG refuelling stations.
NGC, he said, was sorting out the paper
work with the fuelling station.
"We anticipate that within another week
we should have the refuelling station at
PTSC ready but in the meantime we are
using the private fuelling stations," he
Ramdeo said the response from the pub-
lic about the new buses had been pleas-
"The feedback has been very, very good
in terms of the seating, the capacity.
"People are happy that there are cameras
on board and they are able to see the speed
in kilometres that the driver is driving at.
"It is a really good experience a lot of
commuters," Ramdeo added.
He said the buses were very powerful
with the CNG fuel and they were very
CNG-powered buses use a cleaner fuel
which will be more cost effective for main-
Opening of neurosurgical seminar...
Indian High Commissioner to T&T Gauri Shankar
Gupta, right, gets assistance from head of
security Daya Nidhi in hoisting the flag to
commemorate India's 66th Republic Day at the
High Commissioner's residence, Trinidad Cresent,
Ferderation Park, St Clair, Port-of-Spain,
yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Contacted yesterday a representative
from the Medical Professionals
Association of T&T (MPATT) described
Khan's statement as premature, saying
that while doctors did not attend the
opening session that did not
automatically mean they would not
attend the remainder of the seminar.
New Sunlong CNG buses hit the roads
Dr Fuad Khan
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