Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh stands accused of placing the lives of scores of patients at risk as a result of the unprecedented electrical blackout at San Fernando General Hospital on Thursday night.
Mr. Deyalsingh owes the patients a public apology and the country a comprehensive explanation for the life-threatening outage at the all-important medical institution.
He must state whether the blackout stemmed from a faulty electrical breaker that is located after the transfer switch, thereby rendering the generators useless.
If that is the case, Mr. Deyalsingh must indicate why the defective breaker was not repaired in a timely manner.
The Minister must reveal how the emergency was handled, and, especially, what measures were undertaken with respect to at-risk patients.
He must tell the country whether relevant replacements were not provided because the supplier is owed a large sum by the South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA).
Mr. Deyalsingh must also reveal how many providers of pharmaceuticals, equipment and other essentials are withholding supplies as a result of non-payment of outstanding sums of money, and what is being done to off-set this emergency.
Further, the Minister must tell the country how many such items are either currently unavailable or in a state of disrepair.
For months, patients at San Fernando General Hospital have had to endure waiting periods of up to three days to be warded and also a critical shortage of life-saving medicines.
The hospital is in urgent need of refurbishment, with roof repairs being incomplete.
Improvements to the Labour Ward have been taking place for four years.
There is a worsening shortage of doctors, nurses and paramedics.
Minister Deyalsingh has presided over the near devastation of the public health care system, with deepening crises at virtually all hospitals and other institutions.
The arbitrary shutdown of the Central Block of Port of Spain General Hospital has led to the deferment of scores of elective surgeries and a serious shortage of beds and other medical requisites.
While the electrical blackout was a new low for the health sector under the inept Mr. Deyalsingh, the country could anticipate even more medical crises if he remains Minister of Health.
That is why I repeat my fervent plea for the Prime Minister to immediately remove the bungling Minister, in order to literally save the lives of patients who depend on the services of the State medical sector.
The Prime Minister must treat the country’s urgent medical needs as the disaster area it has become under the hopeless Mr. Deyalsingh.
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