Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 27th 2015 Contents A15
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Drivers of police, prison and security
vehicles escorting prisoners to and
from court will now drive at the legal
Stakeholders met on Monday to dis-
cuss the numerous complaints they had
received and possible solutions at the
Ministry of Justice, Tower C, at the
International Waterfront Complex, Port-
Justice Minister Prakash Ramadhar
said they had received numerous com-
plaints about the convoys transporting
prisoners to and from court on mornings
Ramadhar said he had also received
complaints from ambulance personnel
that motorists were not giving them the
right of way in emergency situations
while travelling on the roadway.
Acting Police Commissioner Stephen
Williams said it was a long-standing
issue and they were attempting to find
ways to resolve it.
"Today we met to engage in discus-
sions about our police escort to court
and risk generated on the public road-
ways. It is a long-standing issue and we
can find ways of improving and address-
ing the issue. There is a demand for the
police to be punctual to court," he said.
He said officers would be given a
directive to drive within the speed limit
and drive safely to arrive punctually at
"We will be expressing great concern
so there is safe driving, especially on
the way back. They will stick to a legal
speed limit," he said.
Commissioner of Prisons Sterling
Stewart said the inmates would be
processed from as early as 4.30 am in
time for court at 9 am.
When contacted yesterday, an official
at Amalgamated Security Services Lim-
ited said that the police were responsible
for the pace of the convoy and they
were just driving the vehicles.
Sensational media reporting of inci-
dents involving the medical profession
has diminished the public s trust in
the fraternity and has put them at
greater risk, according to the San Fer-
nando Hospital Doctors Association
This statement follows an attack on
Dr Jason Diljohn by a visitor at the San
Fernando Teaching Hospital last
Wednesday. A woman has since been
charged for assault.
Over the past months the media has
reported a number of incidents involving
maternal and child deaths at the public
hospitals, in which the patients and their
relatives claim negligence.
"Certainly if somebody is negligent
or at fault then by all means that person
should be held accountable.
"But some of the reporting is putting
doctors and nurses in an unfair position,"
representatives of the association stated.
"The sensationalism that is occurring
out there is making it very difficult for
doctors and general health care workers,
because it affects nurses and everyone
in the hospital and places them at a very
"When negative light is cast upon
the health sector, the public trust in the
medical fraternity is diminished and
because they perceive everything as pos-
sible negligence they act very harshly."
The doctors pointed to social media
and comments following their protest
one week ago and one comment in par-
ticular that doctors were greedy and
were getting more money to kill people
"It is alarming the kind of perception
people have of doctors," members of
the association said.
The Medical Professionals Association
(MPATT), which is the doctors repre-
sentative union, has called for a zero
tolerance of violence and aggressive
abuse to hospital staff.
"These recent attacks are a reflection
of the failing capacity of the health serv-
ice to ensure occupational safety and
personnel security at the workplace."
MPATT had previously suggested on
numerous occasions that the Regional
Health Authorities give consideration
to the system which obtained in the UK,
that is, an expressed "zero tolerance"
policy towards any kind of violence and
aggressive abuse of any staff member
at health institutions.
"MPATT calls for immediate imple-
mentation of such policies and proce-
dures against violence and aggression
across the nation s health institutions."
Media reports fuel
anger at medical staff
San Fernando Doctors' Association claims
Police officers and a Community Comfort patrol officer attend to Siew Paltoo and his daughter, Sarah,
moments after an accident on the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, Trincity, yesterday. Paltoo's car was hit
by another vehicle exiting Beaulieu Avenue, Trincity, causing him to hit another vehicle travelling in the
same direction, driven by Leizann Benjamin, which flipped several times. Benjamin and another
passenger identified as Andrew Benjamin escaped serious injuries. Police are looking for the driver of a
black vehicle which was also involved in the smash-up. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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