While expressing his condolences to the family, friends and coworkers of procedural clerk assistant Sheranne Samuel who died last weekend, Fyzabad MP Dr. Lackram Bodoe said the circumstances surrounding the delay in making a diagnosis speak volumes of the challenges that the healthcare professionals face in the health sector.
Sheranne died on Sunday after she was been put on life support for an illness.
She was also not given a CT scan because the machines at the hospital were not working.
Bodoe said, “Whilst the Minister of Health would have us believe that COVID-19 is responsible for all the current ills in the health sector, the fact is that the delivery arms of the health service, the Regional Health Authorities have been unable to fulfill their mandate under this Government because of poor management and lack of accountability.”
He said although symptoms and clinical signs still comprise the foundation of diagnosis in patients with neurological conditions, it is accepted best practice that an early CT scan better guide the medical team in providing the most appropriate and timely treatment.
“Having to wait 14 hours for a CT scan in the circumstances reported in the newspaper is in my view unacceptable. Machines will break down but systems must never break down.”
He added that under the People’s Partnership Government, the External Patient Programme was developed to provide a contingency for such cases to be outsourced in a timely intervention in exactly such circumstances.
The question is why was this avenue not utilized earlier?
“The Minister’s attempt to blame this on COVID-19 is a poor excuse and an attempt to hide mismanagement and incompetence,” he said.
He said the situation has to do with systems that have collapsed under the watch of the PNM Government despite at least 20 billion being allocated to the health sector between 2016 and 2019.
“In 2020 surely our citizens deserve better,” said Bodoe.