22 Nov 2014

Some inner musings

Sometimes, truth stranger than fiction, oui.

I mean, take this story in today’s Express Newspaper. Some elements seem like right out of a best-selling novel.

  • A 16 years old girl got pregnant, didn’t know she was pregnant, and only got ‘belly pain’ when she started giving birth.
  • Baby born prematurely, transferred for care into a unit where it was admitted there is a bacterial infection and the baby would be at risk.
  • Right hand of baby damaged when a needle broke in it (according to the doctor) or the IV leaked and damaged it (according to a nurse).
  • IV transferred to the left arm, where according to reports, it was incorrectly inserted causing baby to LOSE the arm: “A nurse said the IV ruptured in his hand and caused the soft tissue in his hand to die.”
  • The grandmother said her daughter was prevented from taking photographs of her son and she was warned to remain silent on the issue, as she was underage.”

In the 24 odd years since I worked in Sando Hospital, things have not improved. Sure, they got fancy building at the old Chancery Lane car park, but can anyone tell me if they improved the lab? It used to be housed in the old wooden buildings on the hill above the car park.

The medical social work department is crammed into the old quarters once occupied by the cleaning staff. 24 years ago, X-ray and ultra sound departments were too small to accommodate the amount of work, and the machinery was old. Very old.

But the systems that govern the care and treatment of patients have not improved. Doctors still think they are above the law, nurses still think, “When yuh opening yuh legs for yuh man, yuh wasn’t bawling in pain then!”. Now that is true talk. That is the first thing the nurses tell women when they are in labour pains and asking for pain killers. Witty, aren't they? They behave quite unlike beasts, actually… beasts do not callously cause pain or openly show contempt. And funny enough, I’ve never seen a photo of a slim nurse in the newspapers.

But I digress…. what I began saying is that the quality of care in Trinidad was, is and perhaps will remain less than Third World…. for a long time to come. Even ministers know this.

I also muse at how people jump on a bandwagon without a little research… I mean, in 2014, the internet age, where Google rules the world of search engines and is your friend, people still make dotish remarks without checking if they are right or wrong.

Take the Rachel Price/Carmona affair:

I see comments like:

....although the rights of free speech are enshrined in the constitution, one still doesn't have the right to shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre just for excercising [sic] that right...

Now, that statement is not completely true. You CAN shout fire in a crowded theatre… if it is true. So if Price makes a comment, and it is true, then she has a defence. One only has to Google “shouting fire in a crowded theatre” to obtain more information.

Statutory rape shows no signs of slowing down, and the police are lax as usual. The culprits are getting bolder.

I think if anyone has to pay attention to the real issues in the land of milk and honey, one of the happiest places on earth and home of some of the fattest people on the planet, they’d go mad.