Wayne Young, being treated at the Gulf View Medical Centre, in San Fernando. Photo:Innis Francis

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Hospital horrors for highway crash victims

...say they were asked to find own transportation from Chaguanas Health Centre to Mt Hope because the x-ray equipment was not working. Case to be investigated by North Central Regional Health Authority

By INNIS FRANCIS innis.francis@trinidadexpress.com

FOUR people who survived a highway crash that killed
their American friend last Friday, were dropped off at the
Chaguanas Health Centre by fire fighters, then told by a nurse to
find their own way to the Mt Hope Hospital for further
treatment.

The victims, who had to telephone a friend to get transportation,
said they are outraged by the callous way they were treated.
Told of the incident, chairman of the North Central Regional Health
Authority (NCRHA) Dr Shehenaz Mohammed apologised and
asked that the group write a formal complaint so it could be
investigated.

New Yorker Ernst Lorquet, 37, died last Friday morning, when the mini bus in which he was a passenger, crashed when a trye blew
while travelling along the north bound lane of the Uriah Butler Highway near the Divali Nagar site.

Surviving the crash were Janella Lashley, 31, brothers Wayne, 45, and Corey Young, 38, Jamila Hoyte, and driver Andre Roseman. The group were on their way to the Tobago Ferry Terminal, in Port of Spain to take the boat to Tobago to spend the weekend.

Lashley, who was visiting from Barbados, said she had never felt so insulted by any government worker, when she and the other victims were taken to the Chaguanas Health Facility. She said when they got there at around 5.30a.m. a nurse said the hospital was closed and the x-ray machine was not working.

Lashley said: “A nurse in a white uniform told us we had to go to Mt Hope for them to perform the x-ray there. The nurse said it was only 15 minutes away to that hospital. They said (Hoyte) had a broken arm and she was the only person that could be transported in the one ambulance that was available"

Lashley said Hoyte’s boyfriend begged to accompany her in the ambulance but the nurse said she was over 18-years-old and there was no need for anyone to accompany her. Lashley said she called a friend who took an hour to get to the Chaguanas hospital. It was only then, that the four were taken to Mt Hope.

Lashley "we had to deal with all of this knowing that our friend had died. The health system in Trinidad is messed up. I have never experienced so much disrespect and unprofessionalism in all my life".

Mohammed said that a team of NCRHA board members, and staff from Chaguanas Mayor’s office visited the Chaguanas health facility only one day before the incident to discuss “poor staff attitude and the radiology equipment.”

She said: “It is quite disturbing that this has happened a day after we visited. We would like the patients to write a formal complaint to the hospital’s CEO outlining what had happen. We are beyond talk now. We talked enough. The patients have to help us manage and fix the problems. There is much more good than bad there, but bad is not acceptable. We have to improve the bad or remove it.”

Lashley left for Barbados yesterday.
The Young brothers, are US nationals living in Brooklyn. Wayne Young is being treated at the Gulf View Medical Centre, for serious injuries to the right leg, and it is costing $1000 a day, he said.
Corey Young, Roseman and Hoyte are being treated at the Mt Hope Hospital.
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