The NCRHA issued a press release on Friday 20 May 2021 which seems to cover up the alleged forcing out of senior doctors from the Couva Hospital by NCRHA Management.
With our nation facing a high Covid death toll with up to 23 people dying recorded in one day, the UNC repeats its call for a formal investigation into the matter.
In its release, the NCRHA claims that Dr. Don Martin repeatedly requested of the Chief Executive Officer that a system of rotation be implemented so that doctors at the facility were given an opportunity to rest, having been working assiduously at the COVID-19 facility for over a year.
Nowhere does it state that Dr. Don Martin requested to be “rotated”.
Our information is that this system was to be put in place for junior doctors, not senior members.
The issue of Dr. Martin and the others being forced out against their will remains, and it requires a thorough investigation.
Our information is that this was an involuntary removal.
The doctors transferred are those who are specialists and are most qualified to treat with Covid.
These include an infectious disease specialist, specialist nephrologist, specialist pulmonologist and consultants.
As Trinidad and Tobago battles its third wave of the deadly virus and our infection rate remains in the hundreds it makes no sense to remove the senior team of specialists from the main battleground in this Covid fight.
The NCRHA must say who has replaced these specialists at these facilities, and what specialist skills do the new rotated staff have at the Couva facility?
Answers must be given as day after day, we are faced with heart-breaking death statistics.
These are human beings, not just numbers and there must be the assurance that the best care is being given to save lives.
NCRHA CEO Davlin Thomas, who is also Deputy Chairman of the National Carnival Commission, is clearly unqualified to manage the country’s largest RHA.
At a time when the country is facing the worst health crisis in our entire history, it is more than legitimate to question if Thomas is there purely for politics.
Is Minister Deyalsingh aware that these major changes were made? Was there any consultation?
The UNC repeats its call for a thorough investigation.
Our country needs the best health care at this time, not PNM political victimisation.
I also take the opportunity to commend and salute all medical workers, including this senior team at the Couva Hospital who were transferred, for placing their lives on the line and being our unsung heroes during this pandemic.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition