26 Jun 2007

Cronyism - PNM Style Part Deux

Let's get back to my post on cronyism in the PNM. Hazel Rogers-Dick, a former PNM mayor of San Fernando somehow left Sando Hospital with over $50,000 in equipment. A bed, an oxygen tank and a cardiac monitor found their way home to her house, and according to reports, they were even transported there by a SWRHA vehicle. Which also means SWRHA employees provided the labour to get it loaded (and maybe unloaded too).

Now, recent media articles highlighted the poor state of the hospital, with toilets clogged, no beds to sleep on, (man walking with bed from home, mind you), equipment problems, etc etc. A long litany of woes is a short description of ills plaguing this sector. I am not the first to highlight this, neither would I be the last.

So here comes Anthony Hines, accusing me of opportunism in commenting on this obvious travesty. So Hazel dead... you know what Anthony? I can't help that, and I don't know her well enough to grieve for her although I sympathise with her family.

But according to today's Express, the favouritism and preferential treatment hapened, and as I said, the coverup already started.
The South-West Regional Health Authority, in a statement yesterday, said she was lent a bed for the period of time she wanted to spend at home.
But prior to this statement, the reporters could not find proof she was lent that bed and sundries.
SWRHA heads of department, including chairman Imtiaz Ahamad, all denied giving permission for one of the authority’s vehicles to transport a cardiac monitor, valued at $27,000, a new bed worth $17,000, plus an oxygen tank to Rogers-Dick’s Vistabella home on June 12.
So which is it? I'm inclined to go with the first report, the second stinks of a coverup. I did mention it would happen, but to happen in less than 24 hours? A new record perhaps. Get it straight. At first they all denied giving permission. Now to save the woman's 'face' and reputation they say they did?
Just watch the ensuing casting of blame and denials as each and everyone disclaim responsibility. I bet nothing comes of this, like so many other corrupt practices we see daily. The dust swept under the carpets is now a mountain of dirt. Who sees it?
By the way, the SWRHA hasn't entirely cleared the woman.
The Authority, which is in charge of the institution, however, was unclear how she left with a cardiac monitor without proper authorisation....

Although, Rogers-Dick required the continuous use of a cardiac monitor, the SWRHA said no permission was given for it to be taken home...

Rogers-Dick was also said to have taken home an oxygen tank valued at $55,000 for her home care....

Both the bed and the monitor have since been returned, the statement said.

No mention of the oxygen tank there...

No matter how you look at it Anthony, cronyism is there, plain and bold, for any non-partisan person to see. I see the dirt, do you?