Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 5th 2015 Contents YVONNE BABOOLAL
There is no crisis, as yet, at the
Arima District Health Facility
because patients are being sent to
other medical institutions but
soon they will have no place to
go, warns Public Services
Association president Watson
"Patients are being sent to dif-
ferent areas. Soon, they will have
no place to go," he said.
Duke said he has already "paral-
ysed" several departments at the
Eric Williams Medical Sciences
Complex (EWMSC), including the
He said workers at the Arima
Health Facility went home again
yesterday shortly after reporting to
work and signing the attendance
"They come in, sign and leave.
If there is any emergency, they deal
with it. They are strictly on emer-
gency mode," he said.
The workers have downed tools
at the Arima District Health Facility
citing unsafe working conditions.
They are also registering their
disapproval of the Government s
delay in paying them a 14 per cent
salary increase, Duke said.
He claimed mould from the
Arima Health Facility was growing
on workers hands and skin.
Reminded the Government is in
the process of constructing a mod-
ern Arima hospital and remodelling
the Arima District Health Facility,
Duke replied: "The present envi-
ronment is killing people softly."
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan
said the Government was trying to
source the estimated $1 billion
needed to pay all public servants
but Duke insisted they did not have
to search for it.
"They have money in the Treas-
ury. Take out the money and pay
the people," he said.
Duke said he has shut down the
Blood Bank, Central Sterilisation
Department and Dental Unit at the
"If the Government wants to play
tough, we can play tough too. It s
blow-for-blow. We are saying all
the gloves are off," he said.
Khan earlier said if the workers
wished, he could relocate them to
safer working conditions at health
facilities in Toco and Blanchisseuse.
Duke said the workers had no
problem working anywhere. "Khan
should get it out of his mind that
people should howl and scowl if
they have to work in these faraway
places," he added.
Khan told the T&T Guardian he
was yet to receive a report on any
crisis at the Arima District Health
Facility or any other medical insti-
tution in the eastern region.
Arima MP Rodger Samuel said
he had not heard anything either.
"I am on a walkabout in Arima
this morning and, so far, no one
has told me anything about prob-
lems accessing health services," he
Wednesday, August 5, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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A grieving grandmother yesterday
intercepted Health Minister Dr Fuad
Khan during an impromptu walk-
through of the Mt Hope Women s
Hospital pleading with him for help
after her daughter s baby was born
dead the day before.
Hinting it might be as a result of
neglect by nursing personnel at the
Mt Hope Women s Hospital, Gita
Boneo questioned why medical pro-
fessionals had not acted faster to save
her only grandson s life.
Prompting a shock-wave of reac-
tions from senior officials and visitors
to the hospital, Gita Boneo had to be
physically assisted by Khan and chief
medical officer Dr Colin Furlonge in
the main lobby after she broke down
At the time Khan had been on his
way out, having completed a walk-
through of the partially refurbished
facility during which he greeted mem-
bers of the public and spoke with
health care professionals about the
Unable to speak properly as she
struggled to breathe, Gita s voice
dropped as she revealed to the min-
ister that although her daughter Tricia
had been diagnosed with ovarian
cysts, she had carried her baby to a
full-term of 39 weeks.
Tricia, 27, had been admitted to
the hospital the day before and her
baby was pronounced dead on Mon-
Leading the crying woman into an
elevator, Khan took charge of the sit-
uation as he went to the ward and
met with Tricia, Gita and other family
members in a private room.
Begging for answers, Gita asked:
"I want to know how I am going to
help my daughter?"
With tears rolling down her face
and soaking Khan s jacket and shirt,
Gita kept questioning: "Why didn t
they cut her before and take the baby?
Her water bag burst and they just
had her there. They treat her like she
was nothing. When she called the
nurse, the nurse said Go back in your
Reassuring the grieving woman,
Khan directed Furlonge and the Med-
ical Chief of Staff at the hospital to
initiate an investigation into the cir-
cumstances that led to the emergency
Caesarian section being performed
Adding that was Tricia s first baby,
Gita voiced her uncertainty about the
future as she said: "I don t know what
will happen. We are hearing all kinds
of things. I am not blaming anyone.
I just want to know how..."
Re-emerging to address reporters
in the lobby about the situation, Khan
explained that Gita s reaction was
that off someone who was suffering
Acknowledging the family s loss
which remained fresh in their minds,
Khan revealed Gita had received
However, he added: "I think she
Pressed to say what he advised
officials to do, Khan said: "Unfortu-
nately, the baby died and we now
have to investigate and see what was
the cause of death, whether we could
have prevented it, or changed it or
otherwise. We will now be moving
into the investigative stage."
Alluding to the fact that the preg-
nancy might have been complicated,
Khan said he would be unable to pro-
vide any definitive answers until the
investigation was complete.
Claiming that all notes relating to
the matter would be examined, the
minister assured: "This won t be an
investigation that will be swept under
Attempts to speak with members
of the family were declined.
Granny's plea to Fuad after baby's death:
Help me find
Workmen at the
of the Mt Hope
cables onto a
yesterday at the
See Page A8.
No crisis as yet
but it's coming
DUKE ON WORKERS' ACTION AT ARIMA HEALTH FACILITY
District health facilities are open 24
hours a day, offering accident and
emergency and general practice
services which include:
• Pharmacy services
• Radiology (X-ray and ultrasound)
• Dental services for children and
adults at some facilities
• Specialists clinics for chronic
and/or lifestyle diseases
• Ante-natal and post-natal clinics
• Family planning clinic
• child health clinic
• health promotion fitness
WHAT DISTRICT HEALTH FACILITIES OFFER
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