Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 22nd 2017 Contents A6 news
guardian.co.tt Saturday, April 22, 2017
Probe of alleged
mis-diagnosis death of patient
A probe is now under way by
Health Ministry authorities into
the death of a woman at the San-
gre Grande Hospital - report-
edly from septicaemia - due to
the mis-diagnosis of a ruptured
Health Minister Terrence Dey-
alsingh confirmed the probe in
Parliament yesterday in response
to questions from United National
Congress MP Dr Lackram Bodoe.
Bodoe had asked for confirmation
of whether the 25-year-old woman
had died at the hospital a few days
ago, "reportedly from septicaemia
due to the mis-diagnosis of a rup-
Bodoe said Deyalsingh's state-
ment about the probe confirmed
the situation had taken place.
Deyalsingh said the issue was be-
ing investigated by the quality de-
partment of the Eastern Regional
Health Authority and the Chief
Bodoe asked Deyalsingh if he was
satisfied with the unusual circum-
stances. But Deyalsingh, question-
ing why the Opposition was politi-
cising the issue, said the probe was
ongoing and there may or may not
Bodoe, who said he was simply
doing his job in representing the
public's interest, asked if any senior
doctors had seen the patient during
her three visits to the hospital.
Deyalsingh again reiterated a
probe was on "as per usual proto-
col...there is a procedure to be fol-
lowed and it's being followed." (GA)
Garcia defends Bermudez announcement
Education Minister Anthony Gar-
cia says Thursday's announcement of
businessman Robert Bermudez as the
next chancellor of the University of the
West Indies was not a premature an-
"I was directed by the Cabinet to make
such a statement. In fact, it was the feeling
of the Cabinet that at this point it was safe
and prudent to make such a statement," Gar-
cia said in Parliament yesterday in reply to
Opposition queries about his post-Cabinet
media briefing announcement on Thursday.
Yesterday however, UWI's Council, took
issue with the announcement, signalling
Garcia may have spoken out of turn.
In Parliament also, UNC MP Fazal Karim
asked Garcia how soon the person identified
to assume the position was expected to take
Garcia, however, said, "At this point I'm
unable to advise an exact date when the new
chancellor will assume office. A procedure
has to be followed."
After Opposition laughter at that point
quelled, Garcia continued, "There will be a
meeting next week Thursday in Barbados of
the University Council in which the report
of the search committee will be presented.
After that, the University Council will de-
cide when the new chancellor will assume
He said the current Chancellor, Sir George
Alleyne, leaves July 31.
Karim asked if the premature announce-
ment by Government - in contravention
of UWI's Statute Four - had prejudiced and
polluted the appointment process.
Garcia replied, "I totally disagree. My
statement at the post-Cabinet briefing
wasn't premature. A Search Committee
had been appointed to identify choices for
a new chancellor."
UNC MP Dr Bhoe Tewarie asked if this de-
velopment signals Government's intention
to interfere in UWI appointments. Garcia
Prior to yesterday's session, Tewarie,
a former UWI principal, said he'd been
surprised by Garcia's announcement on
Thursday. He said the appointment matter
is normally handled by UWI's Council and
"notwithstanding the financial support of
regional governments, UWI is an institution
that remains autonomous and independent."
Tewarie said usually a chancellor is de-
termined by the sitting of the UWI Council,
adding Garcia's announcement could polit-
icise the chancellorship and reflect political
While he said he has no problem with Ber-
mudez as the choice - particularly given the
financial realities of current circumstances
and the need for new directions - Tewarie
said he hoped UWI 's Council could assert
its independence and wouldn't be unduly
affected by Garcia's political blunder.
RADHICA DE SILVA
Living in a rat-infested house with two-year-
old daughter Arti is finally taking a toll on the
health of Andy Gajadhar, who fell ill yesterday,
a day after the T&T Guardian highlighted their
story of hardship.
Dozens of people offered to help the ailing man and
his daughter, who live at Hilltop Drive, Springvale,
Claxton Bay, yesterday.
For most of the day yesterday, Arti helped her father
clean up their one-room shack in anticipation that
help would come to them. But while cleaning, Ga-
jadhar fell ill and had to the doctor. With his daughter
in tow, Gajadhar received medication for high blood
pressure. His sugar level was also high.
In an interview afterwards, Gajadhar said about 15
callers contacted him offering assistance to purchase,
food, clothing and construction materials. Saying he
was heartened by the outpouring of love from T&T
Guardian readers, Gajadhar said he was concerned
that with his failing health he may be unable to care
"It hurts me to say this but I am scared that some-
thing will happen to me and I won't be able to take
care of her. I would even consider giving her up to a
responsible couple who can give her a better life,"
He noted, however, that the couple must be able
to love Arti as their own daughter.
The ailing father said after his story ran in the
Guardian he felt embarrassed about the condition
of his ramshackle house.
"Arti was very hyper today. She giving me beans.
She wants attention, but I was too busy trying to
clean up the place, then I started to feel really sick,"
After resting for a while, Gajadhar said he began
feeling better later in the afternoon.
He said however that no one from the Ministry
of Health had contacted him to discuss spraying or
killing of the rats.
"I really need help to deal with the rats because
either one of us could get leptospirosis. At nights we
cannot even walk on the ground because rats run-
ning by our feet. There is also a lot of mosquitoes,"
He said a representative from the office of the MP
for Tabaquite Dr Suruj Rambachan contacted him
yesterday saying the MP would speak with him shortly.
However, he said up to late evening Rambachan had
However, corporate communications manager of
Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL), Michelle Langton,
said they were willing to supply cement to build a
decent two or three bedroom house for the family.
Anyone wanting to assist the family can contact
Gajadhar at 276-1942 or 289-4494.
Businessman Robert Bermudez
UWI: NO DECISION YET
The University of the West Indies says
it was "surprised" by Education Minister
Anthony Garcia's announcement of Ber-
mudez as its new chancellor, as a decision
on the new chancellor is yet to be finalised.
In a strongly worded media release from
its regional headquarters in Jamaica, the
university's administration said it had not-
ed with surprise Garcia's announcement.
But dismissing any speculation the
appointment of a chancellor is political in
any way, it said, "The university adminis-
tration wishes to take this opportunity to
indicate that chancellors are appointed in
accordance with the university's Statute 4
which clearly states, 'The chancellor shall
be appointed by the University Council'."
UWI said over the past few months it
has been working with a specially appoint-
ed Search Committee to identify an appro-
priate successor to Sir George.
It added, "The matter of the appoint-
ment of the university's new chancellor is
an item on the agenda for the upcoming
annual business meeting of the University
Council set to take place on April 27, 2017
in Barbados. It is at this meeting that a fi-
nal decision will be made on the new UWI
Andy Gajadhar and his daughter Arti.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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