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posted 17 Aug 2019, 08:30 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 17 Aug 2019, 08:34 ]
Health care w
Agatha Carrington - Health Secretary Tobago House of Assembly
orkers of the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) are begging for someone, anyone, to hear our pleas and cries. Doesn’t anyone care about us? What about the political leader of the PNM, Dr Rowley, the Chief Secretary, Mr Charles? Watson Duke, Denise Tsoi a Fatt Angus, Faith B.Yisrael?

We are right on the heels of a minister being arrested and charged with amongst other things, misappropriation of public funds and misbehaviour in public office. We wonder whether these charges could not be laid against those in charge of the health system at both political and managerial levels. They are both a scourge unleashed unto the TRHA and not far behind is that administrator – “in whom we are well-pleased” – a well-placed joke by now…


1. Staff gratuities: 9 and 10 years are owing to some staff members, but why? Aren’t these monies released to the TRHA for payment to staff upon the end of their contracts? When did these releases stop, or have they? Are the monies being used for something else? Under whose authority or direction is this being done? There was a first deadline of December 30th 2018; then March 2019. When March came and went no information, no statement! Why? ARE WE NOT DESERVING OF OUR MONIES? Is this how the PNM government cares about us?

2. Are the sums of monies released to the TRHA (on paper) actually reaching the TRHA or are some squeezed back to fund the private projects/recruitments of those in charge of the system?

Moriah Health Centre; Pink Room and soon to be Blue Room, where all the services are duplications from those already offered by ALL Health Centres in Tobago? What about the critically acclaimed Diabetic and Stroke Centre and the Diabetic Foot and Ankle Centre, how many patients have been seen? Is there a cost to the patients for this service? Are the TRHA’s stores being fleeced to supply these areas since there is no separate funding for these projects? What about the million dollar fence in Roxborough, is it completed?

3. We were told that recently the TRHA “found” millions of dollars stashed away in an account. Is this true? How does this happen, what were these funds released for? Who has the books of the TRHA? Who is monitoring? Is this a deliberate ploy to tarnish the names of some and to again try to paint a picture of incompetence in the TRHA? We find it amusing that there are funds to host parties and functions, employ those who those in charge like; start services where there is no allocation or funding, and yet the TRHA is being starved for funds:

a. There is hardly a day when there is enough food to feed the patients

b. We have no gauze

c. We have no inkopads

d. We barely have diabetic medications, metformin, insulin etc.

e. We have no hypertensive medication - patients are becoming non-compliant because they are unable to purchase these drugs over the counter

f. We don’t have ink and paper to print and carry out our normal daily functions

g. A pitiful claim of an expanded ICU, a joke that URP built. Have you with all your knowledge and self-ascribed expertise in healthcare ever heard of anyone having the URP build an ICU? Is it an ICU or just a box with some patient partitions? Who are you trying to kill? Which infectious disease patients will you put in there? Was there any infection control expert consulted on the design for this expansion?

Does the electrical wiring have cardiac protected status? Do you have at least 20 m. squared for each bed space; natural light for the psychological well-being of isolated or secluded patients? Do the air exchanges meet minimum standards? Give us a break. We can’t wait for the ribbon cutting, you, the one in whom you are well pleased, the energizer bunny of a MCOS (and husband), the clowns on 
Image result for tobago hospitalthe board…all proud to deliver substandard care for Tobagonians.

h. Cleaners are mopping the floors with water

i. Bloods are not being taken because we have no gloves

j. We can’t get basic lab tests done for critically ill patients; patients on ICU with no blood work; renal patients on dialysis with no blood work, diabetic patents losing limbs and no blood work. Is this the quality of health care we are to enjoy under your governance? Is this what the PNM government promised to its voters in Tobago? It is certainly sad that the fate of the next election will be placed in the hands of someone who no one elected!! Or will ever vote for!!

k. Cleaners re-cycling garbage bags, bins without bags used to collect waste, boxes on the floor with garbage

l. No air conditioning on the wards. Can you imagine the smell of rotting flesh, faeces, vomit and urine, stewing in this heat? These are the conditions your staff works under. Sheets not being changed for 3-4 days, patients’ sweat and the heat re-infecting wounds. They claim there are funds set aside for AC units, where are these monies, do you really think that managers will have funds to repair the AC units on the wards and not do so, who do you think you can convince of this? If this is so, then Melville and Cyrus should go immediately!!!

4. We have been storing biohazard waste for months now. The Health Secretary, the CEO and Chairman, all comfortable with making us store waste for months. Do people know what are in these bags: human pieces, afterbirth, abortions, products of conception, tissue, cells and biopsies with cancer, HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, a slew of human filth? You expect human beings, Tobagonians, people who voted for this administration to go into these rooms and lift and move and drag these degraded bags whenever the incinerator starts back to work?

Is this how this government cares for its people? None of those incinerator workers should move those bags; you are endangering their health and well-being. But then again I guess you would get McPhee to instruct his daily paid staff to do it. Where is the NUGFW in all of this, oh, we forgot, you silenced them by giving their representative a position on one of the many boards you have established. We wonder what James Lambert or Lydia Peters have to say about this, eat ah food…

5. How many more cases would TRHA have to lose in the Industrial Court? Isn’t this a waste of money that we don’t have? Monies that should be put to providing resources for patient care? We are in court because of unethical, unfair, wrong and downright wicked acts…this is what has been unleashed in Tobago?

There is no development taking place in health. Health has regressed many decades. All the Health Secretary does is hide behind ribbon cutting and establishing new services to masquerade all the shortcomings. What we have described is the reality for all healthcare workers; you, Madame Health Secretary, have presided over this, you, Melville and now Cyrus.

We are wondering for how long Ms Davis and Mr Cyrus would allow their names and professional images to be tarnished by ineptness, nepotism, lies and hatred for people. Who you cannot control or muzzle, you seek to destroy: Ashworth, Learmont, Michelle Edwards Benjamin, Gilliam Pollidore, Angell Second Ali, Susan Bhola, Camille Phillips, Nigel Duke, Janelle Drysdale Job, Martin Thom and the list continues.

This PNM led administration has allowed so many of its people to hurt. Lives have been destroyed and families uprooted. But our votes are expected right? Is anyone going to come to our rescue? Are we the employees going to be forced to make submissions to the Joint Select Committee for investigation?

Someone send this to Gary Griffith and the Auditor General, something is amiss here!

Stay tuned for part 11….

Committed, Concerned, Scared, Hurt, Angry, Bewildered employees of the TRHA!!