Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 24th 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, March 24, 2014
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley
is accusing Government of partisan
politics over the suspension of a nurse
at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital
for the improper disposal of a dead foe-
tus last week.
On Saturday the North West Regional
Health Authority announced that the
nurse was suspended while an investi-
gation was underway to determine how
23-year-old Tahia Jordan was discharged
from hospital with the foetus in her bag.
Not disputing the nurse s suspension,
Rowley said it was unfair that the doctor
responsible for the death of baby Simeon
was not also suspended.
Simeon s head was sliced during his
mother Quelly Ann Cottle s Caesarian
section at Mt Hope Women s Hospital
on March 1.
His claim contradicts statements from
both the Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan
and chairman of the North Central
Regional Health Authority Dr Shehenaz
Mohammed that The doctor who per-
formed a Caesarean section during which
a baby boy s head was sliced, had been
suspended with pay on March 6, pending
the report of an independent investiga-
"What is right is right, what is fair is
fair, that is how I operate. You cannot
run a country with two different rules
and two different laws," Rowley said.
Addressing PNM supporters at the Rio
Claro East Secondary School on Saturday,
Rowley said the doctor escaped suspen-
sion because of his links with a Gov-
"I can t argue that the nurse has been
suspended, but what has happened with
the doctor who chopped through the
baby s brain? So if you are a doctor, you
could cut and get your friend to tell you
it is all in a day s work and tell us, its
all in a day s work? It seems that you
cannot suspend the doctor, but you could
suspend the nurse.
"I am saying it is not right, it is not
fair. They are both responsible for some-
thing that ought not to happen. What
is it that tells you, you can suspend the
nurse? Is it because she is not she is
someone s daughter who is a big jefe in
the country? The same yardstick you
used to suspend the nurse, suspend the
doctor too," Rowley said.
Saying there must be no fear and
favour in treating with public adminis-
tration, Rowley said unfair treatment
was now becoming the acceptable norm
in the country.
He said, "The PNM opposition is dis-
satisfied in all of this and we are saying
that their days are numbered. They have
nothing to show for their term and we
with our track record of development,
we are ready to win and who don t like
it, just jealous."
While criticising Government s han-
dling of the two health care disasters,
he said it was the entire health care sys-
tem that was in shambles.
He lamenting that Government had
failed to build the Point Fortin Hospi-
"The government is giving you the
impression that hospital buildings are
what generates health care. That is why
the existing health system has collapsed.
The Government is only interested in
the awarding of a contract to build addi-
tional hospitals, even though the next
hospital in line to be built was in Point
"That is the area where it is really
needed, in the western peninsular, which
is too far away from hospital services
and the national development plan."
He added that the Government had
failed to continue the PNM s plan to
employ Cuban nurses while local nurses
were in training. He said now that there
is severe shortage, Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar was seeking to disad-
vantage other Caribbean islands by offer-
ing their nurses jobs in T&T.
Rowley claims C-section
doctor still on the job
PNM political leader Dr Keith Rowley, centre, with PNM chairman Franklin Khan, left,
and the party's public relations officer Faris Al-Rawi during the Mayaro constituency
meeting held at the Rio Claro East Secondary School on Saturday night.
PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has
now gone after the Guardian and Guardian
Media Ltd s deputy managing director and
managing editor Dr Hamid Ghany for the
editorial in Saturday s paper.
Rowley did so at a PNM meeting in Rio
Claro East Secondary School on Saturday.
At a meeting earlier in the week, Rowley
criticised Express columnist Lennox Grant.
At Rio Claro, Rowley singled out an Express
editorial about PNM s Fitzgerald Hinds, who
is on his slate contesting the post of youth
officer in the PNM s internal elections.
He said in a column, the writer s views
would be expressed in a particular way. But
the editorial of the newspaper is a different
thing, Rowley said: "This reflects measured
policy of the owners of the newspaper."
So, he added, "When I see, in the editorial,
columnist s language and jargon describing
one of our more effective politicians as a
motormouth and then advising me as the
leader of the PNM to stay away from him, I
thought, that is not editorial matter, that is
a matter for the column, and I took issue with
"And I will say, the same way the newspaper
can criticise me, I can take issue when I feel
they falling short."
Rowley said when he saw "this columnist"
and suspected he knew who it was, he had
to point out to PNMites where it was coming
from, which was from a different political per-
suasion. He d also said the writer had fought
the PNM and lost his deposit.
He added, "I didn t call anybody name. He
knows that I know who he was, so he comes
up and calls his own name."
Rowley said the writer had criticised Rowley
for saying he had fought and lost his deposit
and had said he had never fought any election,
but had been the general secretary of Tapia.
Rowley said that was worse than he thought,
since if the person had fought and lost, it was
only one seat.
"But you were the general secretary of a
whole stable," he went on. "You lost all the
seats and lost all the deposits except one.
"General secretary, how much deposits you
lose, sir? Except for Lloyd Best, everybody
else loss their deposit and guess what...So
this banter goes on between me and Mr Grant
and I m sure he has a sense of humour and
he ll take it for what it is.
"Lo and behold, the Express didn t write
an editorial criticising me for engaging Mr
Grant. Guess who wrote an editorial? The
Guardian. The Guardian, which is led by Hamid
Ghany, writes an editorial in defence of Lennox
Grant in the Express and accuses me of attack-
ing the media.
"I didn t know Lennox Grant was the media.
I know Lennox Grant was a big Tapia man
and fought against the PNM as general sec-
retary. I m corrected and they lost all but one
of their deposits. I was simply stating a fact."
Rowley went on, "And Lennox Grant didn t
write an editorial to defend himself, nor did
the Express. But the Guardian is so poised
under Hamid Ghany that there s a big article
in today s Guardian defending the media from
"Since when does the Express have to
depend on the Guardian for its defence? But
I want to remind Hamid Ghany and the
Guardian, it is their newspaper, where their
staff walked out of there because they had
given instructions they were too pro-PNM,
and pro-PNM...meant there were too many
negative articles on the government and the
staff walked out when they were directed what
to do and what not to do."
Rowley said a free press "would have to
print nothing but negatives, because all of the
government actions were negative." He crit-
icised the Guardian for its "temerity to come
and take editorial on me defending Lennox
He said the PNM would accept Grant taking
a political perspective in his column.
"But when he writes an editorial and the
editorial describes our MP or our officer as
motormouth --- we not taking that."
Saying it was still a free country and the
PNM still supported a free press, Rowley said
the party had put freedom of the press in the
"So I don t need any advice from Hamid
Ghany about support for or defence of the
press," he added.
As with Lennox Grant s political history, Dr
Rowley is also labouring under some miscon-
ceptions about the T&T Guardian.
Last July concerns were raised at manage-
ment level at the T&T Guardian over what
were thought to be factual errors in reports
published in the paper. The issue was even-
tually resolved, though three members of staff
left as a result.
The Guardian s editorial staff were not and
are not "directed what to do and what not to
do" in reporting on political or any other
Rowley wrong again---Grant
Express columnist Lennox Grant yesterday
said Opposition leader Keith Rowley was again
wrong in saying Grant was general secretary
Grant said he had once been editor of the
Tapia newspaper, and added, "I may see
humour in what he s saying---except I think
there s a danger some people may believe what
he s saying to be the truth and may not think
it s a joke.
"I have to be careful as some of these things
are misrepresenting history and misrepresent-
ing my own image."
Grant said that was why he had written
his column yesterday on the issue.
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