Kamla tells PM to open Couva Hospital as it was intended, for the children

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Kamla tells PM to open Couva Hospital as it was intended, for the children

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessard has issued a call for the Couva Hospital, which was built during her 2010-2015 tenure as Prime Minister, to be immediately opened.

Her call comes in the wake of the deaths of eleven babies at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Port of Spain General Hospital.

According to Persad-Bissessar, the Couva Hospital, formerly called the Couva Children’s Hospital, consisted of major life saving equipment which may have helped abate the issues being faced within the public healthcare systems.

She called on the Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, ‘if he has one grain of humanity and conscience in him,’ to open that facility as it was intended, as a children’s hospital.

“Had this government opened it on time many lives would have been saved. Put the country first and immediately open the hospital now…We can save so many lives, open that Hospital…It is a fact that there is a deadly refusal to open the children’s hospital which was built by the government I lead. We have now seen a situation where the health sector has been transformed to a place of horror where newborn babies are dying.”

“The Couva hospital will remain a testament to this government’s malicious, vicious and antipeople nature, a symbol of their destruction of the people of our nation. When I became Prime Minister in 2010 a major challenge was to fix the seriously failing health sector under which mothers were dying often in childbirth,” she said.

She said that while she does not know what has happened to the equipment at the Hospital since its launch, incubators, neonatal resuscitation equipment, audible and signal light alarms, hygiene and infection control areas and 24 infant bassinets were initially contained in the facility.

“It was a state-of-the-art institution and it still is, strategically created to buffer overcrowding at both San Fernando and mt hope hospital. It was supposed to specialize in medical care for children and house a much-needed burns unit for central Trinidad. That hospital would have created hundreds of jobs for healthcare workers and other professionals and ultimately the plan was to open that hospital for medical tourism. We would have had state of the art hospitals right here in Trinidad that others in the Caricom region could access to that healthcare here in Trinidad,” she said.

Persad-Bissessar said that the nation’s hospitals had been turned into ‘killing fields,” plagued by a lack of access to mediation, insufficient nursing, shortages of medical supplies and overcrowding of its accident and emergency departments.

She called for the immediate firing of minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh, the NWRHA’s board, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Health and also called for financial compensation for traumatized parents and free counseling.