‘notable development’: Chairman of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Dr Lackram Bodoe, left, presents the chairman’s Research and Scholarship Award to Dr Lester Goetz during the SWRHA’s awards function on Thursday at Paria Suites Hotel, La Romaine. —Photo courtesy SWRHA

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SWRHA hails return of brain surgeons to Sando General

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

THE return of brain doctors to the San Fernando General Hospital has been heralded as the biggest achievement by the Southern West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) this year.

This is according to SWRHA chairman Dr Lackram Bodoe, who addressed the Authority’s Quality Awards on Thursday, at Paria Suites, La Romaine.

Bodoe, in listing the SWRHA’s achievements  for the year said: “One of the most notable developments for this year however, has been the resumption of neurosurgery services at the San Fernando General Hospital. This became possible with the long-awaited engagement of two Cuban neurosurgeons.”

The San Fernando General Hospital has for several years operated with a system where patients with brain injuries were stabilised, and assessed, with the critical care patients being transferred to Port of Spain and Mt Hope hospitals. Some patients have reportedly died because they were unable to get the necessary care in time.

In October, specialist Dr Maria Louisa Alvarez was sent to the San Fernando General Hospital to work while Dr Pedro Cesar Nunez started more recently.

Bodoe said some of the SWRHA’s greatest achievements for the year  were opening a medical laboratory  at the Couva District Health Facility thanks to PCS Nitrogen Trinidad Ltd, a partnership with Johns Hopkins International to begin  a pilot project at the Siparia District Health Facility on Diabetic Retinopathy Screening and  the establishment of a Memory Clinic at the San Fernando General Hospital  for the treatment of memory loss. 

Next year, the San Fernando Teaching Hospital will be completed, he said, and the construction of other facilities will begin. 

The SWRHA will attempt to also implement day care surgery at three district health facilities and extend opening hours at all health centres, Bodoe said. 

To the recipients of the awards, SWRHA’s chief executive officer Anil Gosine said: “Given the many challenges we face in the health sector today, our awardees give us hope for the future by demonstrating that, despite the challenges, determination and dedication to one’s job should not be compromised.”

Gosine said continued support from the Ministry of Health was needed to have further improvements in the heath care system. 

Amongst the awardees were Dr Lester Goetz, former medical director of the San Fernando General Hospital for his contribution to research. The Medical Professional of the Year award was given to two people - Dr Claude Khan, diabetologist, and Dr Dilip Dan, a specialist medical officer. 

Both the Point Fortin Area Hospital led by Dr Sandy Arthur and the Couva District Health Facility, led by Khan, received the Project Team award. 

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