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posted 17 Aug 2015, 20:52 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 17 Aug 2015, 21:28 ]
The National Health Workers Union (NHWU) has been reliably informed of a brutal sexual attack on an innocent 18 year old visitor at the Mount Hope medical facility just after 9.00 am over the last weekend.

We are advised that she was lured to one of the toilets in the corridor where the perpetrator began his vicious attack. She was saved from his full onslaught after her screams were reported by other visitors to the in-house security who rescued her. This is the same facility gunmen stormed earlier this year and the Minister of Health publicly stated that employees should stand their ground and protect the patients.

The union is aware that there have been many lapses in the security system at the facility. Numerous vehicles have been stolen within recent months and other attacks on members of staff and visitors have been reported. The response of the management of the facility has been to attempt to suppress all information about these incidents rather than deal effectively with their failed security systems. This state of affairs is not unique to the Mount Hope facility but is quite common throughout the RHA’s.

The NHWU is inundated by reports of corruption in the award of contracts throughout the health sector and many of them include questionable deals in security. Fingers have been pointed at very senior officials being involved. Delinquent contractors have their contracts being constantly renewed and glaring deficiencies in tendering and awarding of contracts are quite normal.

The NHWU brings this to the public’s attention so that they can better appreciate the plight that health care professionals face daily in trying to provide quality health care to the population. The authorities desperately attempt to continuously lay the blame for the chaos at our health facilities at the feet of the hard working professionals at these institutions. However their culpability is inescapable. For example, the NHWU has warned the management at SWRHA about a situation which we fear will lead to incidents similar to that which occurred at Mount Hope over the weekend.

At the San Fernando General Hospital there are wards where staff and patients, male and females share the same toilet facility. The Cardiac ward is one such location which we have brought to the attention of management but to no avail. Female patients and staff are often traumatized when they are followed by male “Visitors” while using the washrooms.

The NHWU deems it our duty to alert the users of the public health facilities about the negligent attitude of the management of the RHAs to ensuring their safety and the safety of their employees.

The NHWU also warns the management of the RHAs that the longest rope has an end and that health workers will not tolerate for much longer the arrant disrespect by their employers that is manifested in all areas of the workers-management relationship and in particular the lack of concern for the safety and welfare of health workers. To be forewarned is to be forearmed!