Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Citizens believe ‘medical mafia’ covering up truth

...says Amery on health woes

The people of this country believe there is a “medical mafia” and because of this, they expect little or no justice when unfortunate incidents such as the death of baby Simeon occur.

So said Diego Martin Central MP Amery Browne in the House of Representatives yesterday, at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre in Port of Spain. 

He was at the time seeking to have the matter involving the death of baby Simeon, whose head was cut open during a Caesarean section, debated as a definite matter of urgent public importance.

Browne said there was public perception that there were many levels of cover-up and concealment that could prevent the truth from emer­ging in this matter in the current circumstances. 

He pointed to several strategies (involved in the apparent cover-up), including “the deliberate stigmatisation of the victims and their families by senior officials and the issuing of conflicting press releases, in what the pub­lic interprets as an attempt to confuse the citizenry”.

Browne also cited, “The engagement of multiple agencies such as universities and other organisations to assist with the provision of explanations for these medical atrocities, with little or no focus on the welfare of the victim and their families, is highly unacceptable”. 

He took note of the alleged reliance on medical practitioners to protect others within the field and the recruitment of investigating teams that do not appear to be independent.

“Mr Speaker, the agonising and tortured death of tiny Simeon is the most recent case in a pattern of poor procedures and medical negligence that has resulted in investigations by the Ministry of Health, all of which have culminated in a failure of justice, inadequate redress, frustration among the poor and vulnerable in society and worsening of a culture of injustice and violence that plagues Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

Browne said there has been an alarming epidemic of neglect and neg­ligence within the health sector, which falls under the purview and responsibility of the Ministry of Health. 

“Trinidad and Tobago continues to experience unacceptable levels of perinatal mortality, infant mortality, maternal mortality, injuries related to health-care procedures, negative complications due to botched surgeries, alleged exploitation of patients and possible criminal medical negligence,” he said. 

Browne said the matter was urgent because in the recent past, this society had been horrified by a sharp increase in medical atrocities such as the inexcusable, agonising, traumatic death by deep cranial laceration of a newborn citizen in an ope­rating theatre at the Mount Hope Women’s Hospital.

House Speaker Wade Mark however said this matter does not qualify for discussion as a definite matter of urgent public importance. He urged Browne to file the matter under Standing Order 11 which deals with motions on the adjournment.