Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh must tell the nation whether all healthcare professionals in the Public Healthcare Institutions are provided with industry certified personal protective equipment (PPE). The Minister must do so in light of the death of a patient at the Port of Spain General Hospital due to Covid-19 and the infection of several frontline medical workers at the institution.
The death of the patient and the Covid-19 positive testing of health workers is a smear on the administration of the medical crisis by the Ministry of Health. Mr. Deyalsingh has repeatedly assured the country that there is a full stock of PPE for public health sector workers, but the death and infections due to possible cross infection would suggest otherwise.
Several months ago, during a meeting of the Standing Committee on Health, the Minister promised to furnish me with written details on the provision of approved PPE to medical employees. He did not have the requisite information when I quizzed him on the matter and assured that the information would be provided.
I have never received the requested data, which would encompass all of the nation’s hospitals and health centres. The Minister must also initiate an independent audit of the Government’s overall compliance with stipulated health and safety protocols of the World Health Organization and Pan-American Health Organization.
Until these critical issues are dealt with frontally and all shortcomings are effectively remedied, the health of medical employees would be considered to be severely compromised at the hands of an inept and reckless Minister of Health.
Dr. Rishad Seecheran
Member of Parliament, Caroni East