Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 31st 2015 Contents A10
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, October 31, 2015
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Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh
has assured that the Couva Children's
Hospital will be utilised and become
fully operational once it is commis-
sioned and handed over, either to the
Ministry of Health or the South West
Regional Health Authority (SWRHA).
Making it clear that the PNM Gov-
ernment was not about wasting taxpay-
ers' money, it was a tough-talking
Deyalsingh who fired back at the former
administration as he in turn accused
them of using it as a political tool.
Making the statements as he respond-
ed to reporters following the Third Meet-
ing of National Aids Programme Man-
agers and Key Partners at the Hyatt
Regency, Port-of-Spain, Deyalsingh
sought to "get the facts straight" regard-
ing the opening and operations of the
The People's Partnership (PP) has
accused the new government of delib-
erately stalling the opening of the hos-
pital, which Deyalsingh says is simply
The minister stressed that the adult
and children's hospital was yet to be
handed over by the executing agency,
which was the Urban Development Cor-
poration of T&T (Udecott).
Revealing that it was still under the
auspices of the Ministry of Housing as
Udecott was the contractor, Deyalsingh
dropped a further bombshell as he said,
"The South West Regional Health
Authority has absolutely no budget to
run the hospital."
He added, "The hospital has not been
vested in anyone as yet for commission-
Stating that the PP government "had
no plan to commission the hospital,"
Deyalsingh continued, "There was a plan
to open it for public relations purposes
and there is a difference between opening
Questioning what was the real plan,
Deyalsingh pointed out that the PP gov-
ernment had intended to source the req-
uisite 474-member staff for the first year,
from the San Fernando General Hospi-
tal---which would have left that facility
devoid of any medical personnel.
Reiterating that this facility was used
as a political gimmick, Deyalsingh vowed,
"The PNM has said during the campaign,
that any worthwhile project we inherit
will be used for the benefit of taxpayers.
We will be looking at that to see how
best we can use it."
He continued, "We will not treat tax-
payers money as the last administration
treated the Tarouba Complex, we will
not be doing that to the taxpayer of T&T.
The taxpayer has invested money into
that structure and we will see how best
to utilise it."
Promising that it would utilised
"sometime in the future," the minister
said once it was formally handed over,
plans would be made for its use.
Asked if he had toured the facility
since assuming office, Deyalsingh said
he had no authority to enter the premises
as the project remained under the ambit
of the Housing Ministry, which is headed
by minister Marlene Mc Donald.
Pressed to say when it might be hand-
ed over, Deyalsingh directed those ques-
tions to Mc Donald or the Udecott chair-
man Noel Garcia.
Calls to the cellphones of both Mc
Donald and Garcia went unanswered.
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Prisons Sterling Stewart
says maximum security
at the nation's prisons
will soon be secure with
the implementation of
the body scanners and
In a telephone inter-
view yesterday, Stewart
said the fully body scan-
ners were already at all
"Within two weeks,
there will be five full
body scanners and one
mobile jammer. There
was only one before," he
Stewart said there was
one person who could
install the jammers and
this would start soon as
only "one mobile jam-
mer is operational now."
said the two prisoners
who escaped from the
Carrera Island Prison on
Independence Day still
remained at large.
Steve McGilvery and
from the maximum
security section of the
McGilvery is serving
a sentence of 30 years
with hard labour for
unlawful killing and
Mohammed was sen-
tenced to ten years after
he was convicted of rob-
bery with violence, rob-
bery with aggravation
and possession of
"They are high risk
persons and we are hop-
ing they get recaptured.
We are hoping for any
them and we hoping
they get them back
where they belong," he
The Foreign and Caricom Affairs Ministry says
it is awaiting "feedback" from Saudi Arabian
authorities on the detention of T&T student
Tariq Shamoon Mohammed.
Mohammed, 30, was detained since August as
a suspected terrorist.
Mohammed's family, including his father and
TBC announcer Shamoon Mohammed and attor-
ney Nafeesa Mohammed, have insisted his deten-
tion was based on a case of mistaken identity.
The ministry in response to questions from the
T&T Guardian said it was "seized of the detention
and subsequent incarceration of Mohammed in
The ministry said it has spoken with Nafeesa
and Shamoon on Tariq's detention.
The ministry said it has also communicated
full use of Couva
Prison Commissioner: Scanners
and jammers ready for use
Ministry awaiting feedback
from Saudi on Tariq's detention
verbally and in writing with the Embassy of Saudi
Arabia, based in Venezuela and T&T diplomats
in Uganda on the issue and was awaiting feed-
Nafeesa is calling for an envoy to be sent from
Port-of-Spain to speak with Saudi officials in
Caracas. She told the T&T Guardian on Monday
she was awaiting a meeting with Foreign Affairs
Minister Dennis Moses.
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y y PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
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