Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 4th 2017 Contents viewpoint A19
Tuesday, July 4, 2017 guardian.co.tt
The first response that pol-
iticians, when challenged on
matters affecting them, is "Let's
move on." They adopt this al-
most as a default position to
deflect attention from their
It appears that they invariably
conclude that there should be
no continued focus on what oc-
curred before, even when there
are unanswered questions about
the matters raised.
Unbelievably, there are always
people who subscribe to this
view and consider questions
about the matter as harassment.
Deflecting attention from incon-
venient questions is the norm in
the political arena.
Our society being what it is, it
does not take long for the next
scandal to attract people's atten-
tion and issues rapidly become
yesterday's news. The continual
shifting of focus from one scan-
dal to the next inevitably means
that no matter is fully and finally
resolved and the culprits remain
at large to resume feeding at the
public trough at the next oppor-
Unless our society is able to
keep our eyes fixed on the ball
until the goal is scored, we will
never see people brought to an-
swer for their offences.
It cannot continue to be a case
of politicians being excused be-
cause he belongs to my party and
condemned because he doesn't.
The Minister of Health announced
in Parliament that the central block
of Port-of-Spain General Hospital
is to be demolished and a new block
constructed. He stated that the new
block would have at least 500 beds.
This is an opportune time to bring
to the minister's attention that, of the
approximately 300,000 population
which is served by the Port-of-Spain
General Hospital, those who develop
mental health problems and need to
be hospitalised are admitted to St
Ann's Psychiatric Hospital. Many
of these people could be treated in a
psychiatric ward in a general hospital.
It should also be noted that there is
no in-patient facility for children and
adolescents in T&T.
Consideration should therefore be
given to establishing acute psychiat-
ric wards for adults and for children
and adolescents in the new block.
These wards would provide psy-
chiatric assessment and treatment,
supported by nursing, psychological,
social work and occupational therapy
interventions. A psychiatric presence
in the general hospital would also
provide consultation services to, and
benefit from consultation with other
departments. This would also help
to reduce the stigma associated with
The number of beds needed would
have to be recommended by the rele-
vant policy makers, but would prob-
ably be about 24 adult beds and 12
child and adolescent beds. Let us put
mental health on the front burner.
CELIA RAMCHARAN, San Fernando
The hope for an early election call
by the People's National Movement,
is the equivalent of the leader of the
opposition asking the American
President to disband his Twitter ac-
count. There is no dream scene for
getting back into power for the UNC-
led Partnership government.
I am appalled that a government
minister as senior as Marlene Mc-
Donald could forget that at no time
must the office of the President be
compromised. The punishment fit
the crime. The true victims of her
rescinded appointment as Minister of
Public Utilities are her loyal constit-
uents who see her as their knight in
In politics there can be no favour-
ites no matter how distinguished or
experienced the individual. If you
disrespect protocol, you have to go.
The credibility of the political party
The lessons to be learnt for flout-
ing protocol is that crimes, whether
just allegations or not, destroy your
reputation and will haunt your lives
irreparably. They debar you from cer-
tain social activities. Mr Burke, the
community leader, is harmed by his
own alleged notoriety. A reputational
victim, forever without a decent in-
vitation of his own.
I view Ms McDonald as an experi-
enced political animal who will sur-
vive this self-inflicted wound. Been
there, done that. She remains beloved
by the many supporters she has as-
sisted tirelessly over the years.
LYNETTE JOSEPH, Diego Martin
Dureem Baker, left, and Densil Matthews arrange their fruits at the mango festival hosted by the Green
Market, Saddle Road, Upper Santa Cruz, on Saturday. PHOTO: ANISTO ALVES
'The punishment fit the crime'
Put mental health on front burner Let's move on...
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