Where we stand‎ > ‎Media Releases‎ > ‎


posted 21 Jun 2015, 19:16 by Gerry Kangalee




The National Health Workers Union (NHWU) which represents hundreds of health care workers, continues to draw attention to the calamitous state of affairs that exist at the health facilities throughout the country. The latest disastrous example took place at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) which falls under South West Regional Authority (SWRHA).

There are four elevators located at what is commonly called the “Old Hospital” all of which have been giving problems within recent times. The NHWU has been reliably informed that the service contractor RBP Lifts is owed considerable sums of money so that necessary repairs are on hold. 

One of the four lifts is dedicated to the kitchen for the movement of food and only one (1) of the remaining three is working. On Saturday 20th June, a patient in advanced labour was dropped off at the hospital, not even at the Casualty Department. A Registered Nurse and a Nursing Assistant recognized the urgency of the situation, immediately placed the patient into a wheelchair and attempted to use the lift which would have taken them closest to the Maternity ward, only to find out that it was not working. 

They then had to wheel her down the entire length of the hospital to access the only functional lift.  After getting to the third floor they had to wheel her back up the length of the hospital to where the Maternity ward is located. While on the way the baby was born. It is fortunate for mother and child that because of the experience and competence of the staff present this did not turn out to be a tragedy. The NHWU compliments the hospital staff for their dedication to duty, competence and compassion. 

However, health care continues to be a political football whereby the government and the Minister of Health are more concerned with turning sod and building new facilities while existing ones are literally going to the dogs. 

The incinerator at SFGH is also constantly mal-functioning. This is critical in the disposal of bio hazardous waste; a few months ago the entire “New Hospital” (not the Teaching Hospital) was without air conditioning for weeks including operating theatres. This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue. The NHWU calls on the Minister to get off the TV and do the job for which he is paid.


Sylvan Wilson, Executive Officer National Workers Union 758 8933