One Barbadian has spoken out vehemently about the treatment meted out to her and colleagues at a Trinidad hospital after she and friends were involved in an accident there, in which a member of the travelling group lost his life.
The 31-year-old woman, named as Janella Lashley, was quoted as stating in the Trinidad Express today that she and her friends, with the exception of a female companion that broke her hand in the accident, were forced to find their own way to another medical facility after being turned away from the Chaguanas Health Centre.
Lashley told media that they had to telephone a friend to get transport to Mount Hope Hospital, after a nurse told them only one person could travel in the ambulance.
New Yorker Ernst Lorquet, 37, died last Friday morning, when the minibus in which he was a passenger, crashed when a tyre blew while travelling along the north bound lane of the Uriah Butler Highway near the Divali Nagar site, the newspaper said.
It stated that survivors – Lashley, brothers Wayne, 45, and Corey Young, 38, Jamila Hoyte, and driver Andre Roseman, were transported to the health centre by the fire fighters. The group had been their way to the Tobago Ferry Terminal, in Port of Spain to take the boat to Tobago to spend the weekend.
Lashley reportedly said that when she and other victims were taken to the Chaguanas facility around 5:30 p.m., a nurse said the hospital was closed and the X-ray machine not working.
“A nurse in a white uniform told us we had to go to Mount Hope for them to perform the x-ray there. The nurse said it was only 15 minutes away to that hospital. They said (Hoyte) had a broken arm and she was the only person that could be transported in the one ambulance that was available,” the newspaper reported.
Lashley said even Hoyte’s boyfriend who begged to accompany her to the hospital was told Hoyte was over 18 and there was no need to accompany her, after which she called a friend to take them to Mount Hope.
“[W]e had to deal with all of this knowing that our friend had died. The health system in Trinidad is messed up. I have never experienced so much disrespect and unprofessionalism in all my life,” the Bajan said.
Chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA), Dr Shehenaz Mohammed, who was informed of the incident apologised to the group and asked that they write a formal complaint so it could be investigated.
Mohammed told the Express that a team of NCRHA board members, and staff from Chaguanas Mayor’s office visited the Chaguanas health facility only one day before the incident to discuss “poor staff attitude and the radiology equipment”.
“It is quite disturbing that this has happened a day after we visited. We would like the patients to write a formal complaint to the hospital’s CEO outlining what had happen. We are beyond talk now. We talked enough. The patients have to help us manage and fix the problems. There is much more good than bad there, but bad is not acceptable. We have to improve the bad or remove it.”
The Young brothers are US nationals living in Brooklyn, and Wayne is being treated at the Gulf View Medical Centre, for serious injuries to the right leg. He stated that it was costing $1,000 a day.
His brother, Corey, as well as Roseman and Hoyte were being treated at the Mount Hope Hospital. (LB/Trinidad Express)