The current state of Computed Tomography (CT) Scanners at our public health institutions is completely unacceptable and needs to be corrected by the Minister of Health immediately. This is the second consecutive year that Mr. Deyalsingh continues to deliver excuses in the place of any solutions to the problems that face the public health sector and the countless number of patients who suffer as a result.
While the Minister was eager to accept credit for the recently opened Women’s Outpatient and Colposcopy Centre at Mount Hope, which was constructed under the People’s Partnership administration, he has shied away from taking any responsibility for the collapse of the other health facilities across the country.
During the tenure of the People’s Partnership administration, we worked to ensure that the maintenance of these equipment was a top priority by tendering management contracts to oversee all support and repair of the machines. As far as I am aware, these contracts should still have been in place during the recent breakdown of the CT scanners at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital, the San Fernando General Hospital and the Sangre Grande Hospital. Mr. Deyalsingh therefore needs to either explain what has occurred since taking office that would allow all three CT scanners to break down at the same time if these contractors are being paid to service and maintain them.
While the staff at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex are being overburdened by the situation however, the Minister should also be made to answer as to why he is allowing a brand new state-of-the-art CT scanner at the Couva Children’s hospital to go unused during this crisis. Instead, Mr. Deyalsingh would rather that patients who depend on the free service being offered by the state, be forced to scrape together what little money they may have to pay for these scans at private institutions. This raises a question as to the reason that these CT scanners have all conveniently crashed at the same time, and whether this is all a scheme to repay the owners of these private institutions, some of whom may have financed the campaigns of Mr. Deyalsingh and the PNM.
While the focus of the PNM remains on borrowing money to spend on public relations, the people of this country are being made to suffer more cruelty each and every day. From the shortage of drugs, beds, staff and now machinery, the PNM seems to have an agenda to force the privatization of health services onto the most vulnerable of our society. Moreover, by allowing the public health care infrastructure to crumble, while denying access to other systems already in place, Mr. Deyalsingh appears more concerned with the the financial security of the private health institutions, owned and operated by their financiers, than the health and well-being of the citizens that he swore to serve and protect.