Over the past weeks, there has been a growing number of patients who are complaining of not receiving beds while awaiting treatment at both the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt. Hope and the San Fernando General Hospital. This is occurring at the same time that the Sangre Grande Hospital has ceased its operations due to repair works being undertaken at the facility. As such, it is now imperative that the Minister of Health commence utilization of the complex, designated as the Couva Children’s Hospital, for immediate use by the citizens of this nation to alleviate the burden being placed on the other institutions. This hospital is currently outfitted with one hundred and fifty (150) beds, and state of the art medical equipment and machinery, all awaiting to be commissioned by the Minster of Health to begin serving the population at large. Despite assurances by both the Hon. Terrence Deyalsingh and Dr. the Hon. Keith Rowley that this facility will not be left abandoned however, to date, there has been no official word from either of them on when the government intends to commence operations at this hospital.
The Minister should also be mindful that during the Carnival season, there is usually an increase in the number of persons who visit the Accident and Emergency wards due to the level of alcohol consumption and revelry that takes place as a result of the festivities, in addition to screening and treatment of the H1N1 Influenza currently in our midst, as well as the threat of Zika Virus which has been spreading among other Caribbean countries. As such, the strain placed on these already overburdened institutions will be heightened, thereby necessitating the opening of the Couva Children’s Hospital to effectively and expeditiously manage and treat these patients.
For decades, medical studies have proven that prompt treatment for the critically ill patient improves outcome, and as such, the government of Trinidad and Tobago should be aiming towards decreasing time that a patient faces both in receiving examination and treatment for their ailments in order to increase chance and level of success. It was with this objective in mind, that during the past fifteen years as a Politician, and throughout my medical career, I have always advocated for the creation of more, and improved facilities, as well as the training of a greater number of medical professionals in order to cope with the needs of this growing nation. To this end, during my term as Minister of Health, I ensured that the People’s Partnership government fostered both of these objectives, by not only constructing new hospitals and introducing new health units to broaden the scope of of services being provided, but also creating an training and research element within them, so that our health professionals would have the tools to monitor and treat with any new or emerging medical threats within our country should they arise.
Past PNM governments have frequently neglected the medical needs of our nation, which has led to the lamentable state our hospitals usually find themselves during their administration. That being said, I am imploring the current administration to follow through on their promises and not adopt to the pattern set by their predecessors. The Couva Children’s Hospital represents the most modern advancements in medical sciences that the government has to offer, in both its design and equipment, and as such this administration owes it to the public not to allow it to wither and deteriorate, which will happen if it is not utilized. As such, at a time where our citizens are suffering and could easily die from the lack of medical attention due to the congestion at other national health facilities, I am urging the Prime Minister and the Minster of Health to defer any political agenda they may have, and do what it is in the best for the nation by allowing the Couva Children’s Hospital to serve the people of this Republic.
Member of Parliament for Barataria/San Juan
Dr. the Hon. Fuad Khan