17 Apr 2008

Health sector woes

In response to the health minister Jerry Narace who claimed that doctors are leaving Trinidad because of media reports, one writer sends this letter to the editor of the Express:

This letter is in response to Health Minister Jerry Narace's idiotic statement about the media being responsible for doctors leaving the country. Is this man sane?

Mr Narace, for your information, doctors are not leaving Trinidad because of media reports; Trinidad is the easiest place to practice being a doctor (you can get away with murder here). You think these doctors are leaving because the media reports their incompetence? They don't care about that. You should do some research before trying to pass blame for your Government's incompetence.

Find out where the doctors are leaving for and you would see that they are leaving for countries like America, England and Canada in droves. Then, Mr Minister, ask yourself, why? These countries have stringent laws to protect patients' rights and require their doctors to perform with the greatest amount of professionalism and competence (otherwise they would be held accountable by law).

Yet, our doctors are leaving in droves for these countries. What do you want the media to do when a child dies needlessly or a pregnant woman dies during childbirth? Turn a blind eye? Or say how wonderful the hospitals are in Trinidad? The media is doing its job, which is to reveal the facts about a story.

Do you think spending millions in advertisements to make you look good will solve the problems plaguing the health system in this country? Take responsibility for your Ministry or step aside, but don't try to blame others for your incompetence. That is spineless and foolish.

Anyway, doctors and many other people are leaving Trinidad because there is a lack of proper equipment for them to do their jobs. They have to spend hours in traffic every morning and evening to and from work; there is no efficient public transport system available for travel, water and electricity services are cut regularly, there is no food security, there is no good governance in this country, the people's voice is not heard by the Government (Alcoa), there is no transparency, there is no security, there is high cost of living, there is a Vision 2020 but there are no measurable milestones defined so we cannot determine if we are getting there (it's just a slogan), the roads are horrible with many being patched, making them more horrible, corruption rules...do you want me to continue Mr Narace?

So my advice to you is to be a man and either fix the problems in the health system or resign.Why don't you use your time to clearly define milestones to reach first world status in the Health Ministry and publish these milestones so that we the populace can have something with which to measure the successes or failures of the Ministry of Health, instead of blaming others?

Leaving on a Private Jet Plane

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