Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 8th 2015 Contents A9
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The Ministry of Health has
reportedly ceased an arrangement
with a private medical facility which
allowed kidney patients to get free
And as a result six critical patients
who need the life-saving treatment,
at least three times a week, are des-
perately seeking an alternative venue.
A spokesperson from Trinidad
Dialysis Centre in San Fernando said
the Ministry of Health External
Patients Programme (EPP) effectively
shut down its arrangement because
of health hazards.
The majority of patients who had
been seeking treatment there have
been transferred to alternative centres
but 10 to 12 others have not been
assigned to any other centre to receive
The company, which has been in
operation for 22 years, confirmed
that the Ministry of Health stopped
the arrangement last Thursday.
"We do not know the real reason
but the ministry has discontinued
the programme almost overnight. If
these patients do not dialyse by Tues-
day (today) those patients could get
really, really sick and by Wednesday,
Thursday, they could die because
those people who came to the media,
they have not gotten dialysis since
Thursday," it added.
The spokeswoman said in the
interest of the patients they have
been liaising with the ministry, "try-
ing to find out if they could inform
us as to where they (patients) could
go to get their next session and they
(ministry) are telling us they don t
know, they will call the patients.
"Up to now (Monday evening)
these patients are still waiting on
calls from the ministry, so it is really
a dire situation for them."
The affected patients --- Karon
Morris Wright, Radresh Seedhan,
Sumintra Soodeen, Sharon Henry,
Sharon Sabessa and Bernadette Jobe
--- said they required dialysis three
times a week.
Dialysis is a process for removing
waste and excess water from the
blood and is used primarily as an
artificial replacement for lost kidney
function in people with kidney failure.
Lawyers are planning to boycott
the Family Court to object to the
appointment of temporary High
Court judge Halcyon Yorke-Young.
This action follows a letter of
disapproval to last Tuesday s
appointment of magistrate Yorke-
Young who was sworn in by Pres-
ident Anthony Carmona.
In a letter dated November 19,
prior to her appointment, chairman
of the Family Law Association (FLA)
Lynette Seebaran-Suite wrote to
Chief Justice Ivor Archie "to register
our strong objection to such a
The letter was copied to the Law
Association of T&T and the Assem-
bly of Southern Lawyers.
The letter, a copy of which was
provided to the T&T Guardian, rais-
es concern of the inability of judicial
officers presiding at the Family
Court to have a firm grasp of civil
law which governs the hearing of
most matters leading to inordinate
delays and perceived injustice.
However, a judicial officer told
the T&T Guardian: "The letter was
not dealt with. There was no meet-
ing, no response to the issues even
to acknowledge the very legitimate
concerns that were outlined.
"One would have expected from
a natural justice standpoint, that
their concerns ought to have been
considered and even if the Judicial
and Legal Service Commission
(JLSC), which is chaired by the CJ,
did not endorse the views expressed
therein, the association ought to
have been informed of the JLSC s
The judge said while there was
no constitutionally mandated
process that the JLSC would follow,
"in the age in which we live, the
views of the stakeholders must be
"The issue of appointments by
the JLSC must be a matter of
national concern as such appoint-
ments can effect the life of every
"It is not a circumstance that
there is a lack of qualified applicants.
In fact, in relation to the last
appointment (of Yorke-Young), very
senior lawyers with the requisite
area of expertise in family law did
The officer said that was not the
first time the appointment of judi-
cial officers by the JLSC has raised
eyebrows in the legal profession.
He recalled criticism of Justice
Carol Gobin that senior officers
were being overlooked following
the elevation of Justice Judith Jones
to the Court of Appeal ahead of
people senior to her.
He said in response the CJ had
asked judges suitable for elevation
to submit samples of what they
considered to be their best work
for the JLSC s consideration.
"However, judicial sources have
confirmed that the five of the most
senior puisne judges were not asked
to make any submissions to the
Court of Appeal, so it appears that
the very criteria that the CJ spoke
of is not being applied.
"Judicial appointments are mat-
ters of importance and ought not
to be undertaken whimsically. The
citizens deserve to have the best
possible persons appointed to such
high and important office. In rela-
tion to the Court of Appeal the
senority of judges must be consid-
ered," he added.
Lawyers threaten boycott
over new High Court judge
Kidney patients in the cold
Ministry stops free dialysis treatment
CEO of the South West
Regional Health Authority
(SWRHA) Anil Gosine said they
operated 11 dialysis chairs at the
San Fernando General Hospital
(SFGH) between six to seven days
He said they could not
accommodate all the patients
requiring that treatment so a
number of them have been
referred to private dialysis centres
through the external patient
programme of the ministry.
Gosine said one dialysis session
costs approximately $1,000
The patients who spoke with
the T&T Guardian said they each
required three sessions a week
which amounts to $3,000 for the
period. Many of them are
unemployed and can ill afford to
have these sessions done
Calls to Health Minister Terrence
Deyalsingh were not answered.
Kidney patients, from left, Karon D Morris Wright, Radresh Seedhan, Sumintra Soodeen, Sharon Henry, Sharon
Sabessa and Bernadette Jobe who all claimed they were denied dialysis treatment at the San Fernando Hospital.
PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
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