Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 18th 2016 Contents The apparent failure of the CEO
of the SWRHA to provide a full-
time anaesthetist to the Point
Fortin Area Hospital (PFAH) is a
grave injustice to the pregnant pa-
tients who hail from the southern
peninsula of the island.
Because of the failure to assign a
full-time anaesthetist to the PFAH,
high-risk pregnancies and first
pregnancies from the southern part
of the island, as far down as Icacos,
are currently being shunted to the
already overburdened SFGH which
from time to time is short of beds.
So the patients have to sit on
This is a grave injustice to pa-
tients many of whom would prefer
to be near to their homes and fami-
lies. The PFAH has an operating
theatre, dedicated theatre nurses
and qualified obstetricians, all of
whom are available for obstetric
and gynaecological emergencies.
The failure to assign an anaes-
thetist from the anaesthetists' pool
at the SFGH is demonstrative of
poor leadership. The tail is being al-
lowed to wag the dog with the un-
lawful refusal of the anaesthetists
at the SFGH to provide anaesthetic
coverage for emergency surgeries
at the PFAH which also comes
under the umbrella of the SWRHA.
It takes half the time for an
anaesthetist to drive down to the
PFAH as it does for an ambulance
(provided one is available) to trans-
port patient and nurse from the
PFAH to the SFGH! The obstetri-
cians are reluctant to induce labour
at the PFAH because of the un-
availability of an anaesthetist for
emergency Caesarean sections,
should this become necessary!
I have already indicated my will-
ingness to hold on as an anaes-
thetist at the PFAH until the
resident anaesthetist returns from
sick leave, but to date I have not
had any response to my offer. Why
do the wheels of the SWRHA turn
so slowly and sluggishly?
Are you waiting for a disaster to
happen before you address this sit-
Where there is a will, there is a
way. This is an easy problem to fix
if the will to fix it is there.
Former Medical Director, SFGH
Tuesday, October 18, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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CELEBRATING BLUE FOOD
Reports done have shown that the
poverty level in T&T is consistently ris-
ing---from 16.6 per cent in 2005 to 24.5
per cent in 2014. It is also reported that
some 300,000 people are living on
below TT$1000 per month. When you
take into consideration the cost of living
in T&T you can well imagine how much it
takes to balance the monthly budget.
I believe that poverty is in part con-
tributing to the present crime situation.
If something is not done urgently to
bring down our poverty rate we will con-
tinue to experience a spiral in petty
crime. That I know is not good news, but
it is important that we get to some of
the root causes if we are really going to
see a permanent change in crime.
There is a natural response to pres-
sure by every human being; some can re-
spond positively while others negatively.
It is the negative response that can be
harmful to citizens.
The responsibility is upon those in
charge, with the help of the business
community and even citizens, to bring
about change in the poverty level. We
cannot sit around any longer waiting for
the oil price to go up. Yes, while this will
help the situation we need to be contin-
ually innovative. Creation of jobs must
be done by us working together as a
We must not forget that hundreds
have lost their normal income due to the
present recession. This must be ad-
dressed for, if not, the poverty level will
continually increase and this will impact
on the crime problem.
Remember in every society there will
always be the strong and the weak and
the way they react to a crisis can be very
different. I firmly believe that if people
are employed and compensated properly
that it can be a deterrence to petty
crime. We need to start somewhere.
With less than a month to go before
the opening match in the "hex" round
against Costa Rica on November 11, at
the Hasely Crawford stadium, I am again
making the plea for all remaining home
World Cup qualifiers to be played behind
In recent matches against the USA
and Guatemala, there were crowds out-
side the stadium that could easily have
led to crushing because of inadequate
points of entry. There were reports of
parents having to hold children up in the
air to prevent suffocation.
A senior official admitted to granting
stadium access to patrons and then
scanning their tickets afterwards, which
is a recipe for the use of counterfeit tick-
ets, potentially leading to overcrowding
in the stadium itself.
There is also the anecdotal evidence
that all uncovered stand spectators
were made to exit the stadium using the
same entrance gates that were used at
the start of the match.
This is fundamentally stupid and in-
credibly dangerous. Common sense and
international best practice state that
spectators exit through large exit gates
to prevent bottlenecks. Having them
leave through narrow entrance gates is
a recipe for stampede, crushing and
The TTFA and associated parties
have clearly demonstrated that the ca-
pacity for holding events of this magni-
tude is beyond them. I want to
emphasise that this is not an inconven-
ience issue, this is a safety issue, and a
critically important one at that. The only
solution at this stage is to play these
matches without spectators.
Stadium games a recipe for disaster
Pregnant patients at risk
at Point Fortin hospital
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