Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 16th 2016 Contents SHARLENE RAMPERSAD
Princes Town MP Barry Padarath wants the
Health Minister to stop speaking out of turn
and address the health issues facing the people
of Princes Town.
In an interview, Padarath said health centres
in his constituency have decreased opening hours
and have no drugs to give to patients.
He recalled that the UNC government had
increased opening hours from 8 am to 4 pm to
"As you know this is considered to be a
rural constituency and we have had problems
with the healthcare in this constituency, in
particular the Brother s Road Health Centre
the (People s)
in rural areas."
from the reduction in opening hours
and the closure in terms of the health
centres in this constituency, we also
have a problem with no medicine, sim-
ple as not having Panadol in some of
these institutions has become a problem
especially when we have a lot of elderly
people in these areas such as Brother s Road,
Sister s Road and Lengua where in those
areas, it s really rural, it s difficult for them to
come out to go to the larger health institutions."
Making mention of issues facing schools in
the area, Padarath criticised both Health Minister
Terrence Deyalsingh and Education Minister
"I noticed that the Health Minister continues
to deny that there is a shortage of drugs with
respect to medical drugs in this country. This
is a real and serious problem and we have a sit-
uation here in Princes Town where we have
been calling on the Minister of Education to
assist in respect to schools and there has been
a deafening silence coming from him."
However, when contacted, chief executive
officer at the South West Regional Health
Authority, Anil Gosine, said he was unaware of
any change in closing hours at health centres
under the purview of SWRHA.
"The extended hours are still in place, the
hours have not been reduced to date," Gosine
Asked about the alleged drug shortage, Gosine
said, "I am not aware of Panadol not being
available but because of the consumption pat-
terns in some areas, you may have a shortage
of certain drugs at certain times. However,
alternative drugs are sent from other health
centres and the hospital to accommodate for
The T&T Guardian contacted the Brothers
Road Health Centre and was told that the
regular staff works from 8 am to 4 pm and
another shift works from 4 pm to 8
When Padarath was told of this via
phone yesterday, he said, "This is an
isolated incident of them being open
until 8 pm. They have been inconsistent
with their opening hours for months
Citizens of T&T should not to be afraid
to stand up to their elected MPs and
demand proper representation.
The advice came from Victor Roberts of the
group People for Progress, after a sit-in he and
his members staged at the Santa Flora constituency
office of their MP Nicole Olivierre on Monday.
After months of allegation of poor representation
against their MP and her alleged failure to even meet
with the constituents, Olivierre made an intervention,
mere hours after the group placarded her office and
set up a protest camp at its entrance.
On Tuesday, Roberts said
the group decided to suspend
their protest action after a
meeting was set by Olivierre
to address their concerns of
bad roads, unemployment
and a lack of representation
in Santa Flora.
"We had some heated dis-
cussions upon her arrival but
she was able to give us a date
to meet, which is July 16 and
we agreed to it," Roberts said.
"She has agreed to look at the
problems affecting the con-
stituency in the interim and
as a result of that, the com-
mittee has agreed to suspend
Based on the power exercised by the group to
elicit a positive outcome, Roberts said the other
constituents must also exercise the franchise they
gave to their elected MPs to properly represent them.
He identified in particular, constituents of La Brea
and Laventille, which he said remained loyal to the
PNM which is again in power, but are the two most
dilapidated, neglected and underdeveloped con-
stituencies in the country.
"La Brea and Laventille have remained PNM
except in 1986 when La Brea went to NAR to MP
Albert Richards, so why if the voters were so loyal
to one party, both areas have remained undeveloped
over the years?" he asked.
Roberts said, "Every constituency in T&T must
recognise first of all that their MPs are appointed
and not anointed. What happens is that when these
MPs reach into office, they tend to believe they are
anointed by the creator.
"So I am calling on all constituencies to make
sure to use enough pressure, that is lawful, to ensure
that their MP s deliver because that is what they
are elected to do."
He said if constituents cannot hold their MPs
responsible for development, there will be serious
consequences in years to come.
Roberts said his group will continue to lobby for
the people of Santa Flora and the La Brea
constituency as they plan to start a series
of public meetings soon.
Roberts said constituents have applied
for police permission to hold a series of
public meetings to educate the community
about the crime situation, the unemployment
and what are their rights.
Thursday, June 16, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
their MPs are
What happens is
that when these
MPs reach into
office, they tend
to believe they
are anointed by
MP wants health
woes fixed at
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