Marlene Augustine Friday, July 21 2017

NURSING Association president Idi Stuart is calling for a meeting with Government to discuss the proposal of moving staff to the Children’s Hospital in Couva.

Stuart was responding to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s statement after meeting with Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Tuesday.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Stuart said neither the Ministry of Health nor the Government contacted them or asked their opinion on how it is going to be treated with.

He said the Port-of- Spain General Hospital crisis has been an issue they have been brining up with hospital officials concerning the central block for years.

“If you walk on the floor, you can actually see cement breaking away from the columns of the hospital,” Stuart said.


“Imagine your hospital is supposed to be one of the strongest buildings in the country because when there is a disaster everyone from any area will end up in the hospital and (you have a situation where) the hospital cannot stand up to any significant type of earthquake.

“We have been witnessing this because we have actually seen the ceiling and the columns crumbling.

This is an ongoing issue and is a real course for concern.

What if the seismologists are saying, that TT is due for a major earthquake, is true? The hospital will come down with staff and patients inside.” Stuart said the staff is willing to work in the institution because they know the immediate need.

However, he said one of his concerns was, if they are moved, where are the staff going to be relocated? “The staff at Port-of- Spain Hospital is employed with the NWRHA and the Couva hospital is under the South West Regional Health Authority.

We don’t know how it is going to operate.

Are they going to ask people to resign from the NWRHA and work with the SWRHA? No word has come to us and we are only hearing what is reported in the media.” Stuart said the original plan, even before the Children’s hospital was considered, was to build a new Port-of-Spain general hospital in the vacant area adjacent to the current compound.

“It shows how politics can cost an entire society gravely because imagine you never had that hospital on a plan, none of the three hospitals that was on the plan has come off the ground to date, except the Point Fortin Hospital that has been recently started and the Arima Hospital.

The Port-of-Spain hospital has not been touched as yet.

“The three hospitals that should have been built during that period were not built.

More than a billion dollars was spent and we got a hospital that its location poses severe difficulties for people to reach it.

You built a hospital basically seven minutes away from the district health facility in Couva which was recently extended the other day.” Stuart said there is a need for better planning and a need to listen to stakeholders to avoid similar situations.