PORT OF SPAIN –– An eyewitness yesterday said he saw when an “almost lifeless man” was being taken out of an ambulance by security officers at the Port of Spain General Hospital and left in the hospital’s carpark.
Kevin Ramoutar, a registered patient of the Accident & Emergency department who was still awaiting medical attention by health care providers of the hospital up to last night, corroborated aspects of an earlier account shared on Facebook by Lystra Alexis.
Alexis’ video showed Christopher Phillip, 80, writhing in the carpark of the hospital moments after he was discharged from the hospital, sparked outrage.
Hospital authorities claimed that Phillip sought medical attention at the A&E for a second time, but left on his own accord before being examined by a doctor.
That was when, according to Ramoutar, he observed Phillip’s lifeless body being brought in an ambulance and saw two MTS security guards lifting him out and placing him on the ground of the car park just before midnight.
Phillip’s body was sprawled on front lawn of the hospital’s compound.
“After they drove off, I went to check on him but he was not moving. The man was practically dead. I wasn’t seeing any facial reaction and no movement of the stomach,” Ramoutar said.
Ramoutar said he was brought into the hospital in an ambulance and registered at the A&E to have his colostomy bag changed, but was turned away by nurses who told him he was smelling bad and could not provide medical care.
Ramoutar said he was not warded and decided to spend the night on a public bench opposite the A&E department when he witnessed Phillip being dumped on the hospital grounds by the security guards.
“I still here with all my things and I still have not been attended to. I don’t know what to do,” Ramoutar said.
Yesterday, chief executive officer of the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA), Sheldon Cyrus, denied that the hospital ill-treated or “forcibly removed”, Phillip who lived alone.
The NWRHA in a press release stated that they were deeply disturbed by the event and extended condolences to his relatives.
“We would like to assure them and members of the public that every effort is being made to complete the investigation within the shortest time frame,” the release stated.
Many described Phillip’s treatment as inhumane, uncaring, insensitive, disgraceful, wicked and heartless.
Contacted yesterday, Deyalsingh refused to speak on the matter. “I would let the NWRHA comment on that,” Deyalsingh said.