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17 patients abandoned at San Fernando General Hospital

...including four year old since birth

By Sue-ann Wayow sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com

THERE are at least 17 people who have taken up residence
at the San Fernando General Hospital after being abandoned by relatives this year. And there is at least one child who has been there for the past four years.

The most recent case is Corny Ashton who is in his 90s, the Express was told.

In yesterday's Express, the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) placed an advertisement seeking information about Ashton.
The ad stated: "Mr Corny Ashton was brought in by the police to the Emergency Department, San Fernando General Hospital on Thursday June 19, 2014 after being found in an abandoned lot in Marabella."

Anyone with information was asked to contact the Medical Social Work Department at the hospital. Yesterday, the department received two phone calls from persons enquiring about Ashton but no one was able to assist.

The Express was also told Ashton had no major medical issues apart from diabetes and hypertension. He was brought into the hospital because he was found by the officers unresponsive. A staff member said Ashton was not speaking to anyone and that was why it was difficult to find out about his relatives.

The issue of persons being abandoned in national hospitals is not new.

In 2006, there were 114 "patients" at public hospitals. The problem in many cases, a hospital official said was abandonment. "People bring the patients to the hospital and supply us with wrong names and wrong addresses. Then they disappear leaving the patient with us," the official said.

Amongst them was a nine-year-old boy born at the San Fernando General Hospital.Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan said yesterday all persons left at hospitals will be taken care of by the State.

He said a similar problem existed at Port of Spain General Hospital, Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex and St Ann's Hospital.
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