The T&T Registered Nurses Association is confused about a claim by the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA), that there has been a 60 per cent decline in COVID-19-related deaths and a 25 per cent increase in discharges at the Couva Hospital due to the rotation of doctors on May 20th.
In a Facebook post yesterday, the TTRNA claimed that the statement by NCRHA CEO Davlin Thomas, was “manufacturing statistics” to sway public opinion.
According to the TTRNA, it is a “most shocking statistic and an even more shocking implication.”
“The implied allegation is that Dr Don Martin and the other specialist doctors weren’t doing a very good job and the nation should be thankful for the CEO’s action. That alone is enough to be a depressing inference on any medical practitioner. Fortunately, all of us who have worked with Dr… and the other medical professionals, will know their world-class capability.
“The other statistic of a 60 per cent death rate reduction in eight days, being compared with death before the 20th May is even more confusing. What data was the CEO using?”
TTRNA said using the Ministry of Health’s tabulation, it shows:
1) March 12th, 2020 to May 19th, 2021, the death rate of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago was 1.8% (Death rate=Deaths/Cases).
2) May 20th, 2020 to May 28th, 2021, the death rate has risen to 3.21% (which is higher than the world average of 2%).
“So clearly, the CEO was not speaking about the national statistics. Deaths nationally were not his concern, nor were deaths in the parallel healthcare system or even within the NCRHA’s other COVID facilities.”
The TTRNA said Thomas was exclusively focused on the Couva Hospital.
“The same facility that our members have been complaining about that were not accepting critically ill patients over the last eight days,” the TTRNA said.
“While the CEO cleverly did not speak on the number of admissions to the facility, nor has the MoH stated admissions per facility, we can examine this:
“Let’s look at the Ministry of Health COVID-19 update #729 (prior to May 20th) and #730 to # 738 (May 20th till May 28th).
One will see curious statistics emerging:
1) Couva is treating 15 less patients (149 down to 134).
2) Couva is treating 22 less critical patients who would have been in ICU or HDU (65 down to 43).
3) Patients being treated outside of Couva facility has increased from 394 to 500.
4) Official facilities used to treat COVID-19 patients also have increased from 11 to 16.
5) MoH continues to not include COVID-positive patients who are treated outside of the official COVID facilities.”
The TTRNA said that over the last week, the association was bombarded with calls from members about the difficulties they were facing across RHAs, including having to treat critically ill patients in various A&E tents and makeshift COVID wards that were not suited with the necessary infrastructure (ventilators, monitors, etc) nor the appropriate specialist nurses or doctors to care for these patients on a long-term basis.
“These patients needed immediate access to ICU or HDU care, however, they were not being accepted in Couva for confusing reasons,” the TTRNA said.
Over the past week, Thomas and the group of four doctors have been sparring after they were removed from the Couva Hospital. While Thomas said the move was to stave off fatigue and give the doctors a break, the doctors said this was not so.
The NCRHA denied that claim and the United National Congress brought the issue to its political platform. Thomas has since blamed the mix-up on a “communication problem.”