5 Doctors Suspended
By Clint Chan Tack
March 15, 2011 – newsday.co.tt
FIVE DOCTORS and four nurses of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) Department of the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) have been suspended, pending a full investigation into the death of Carapichaima housewife Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair at the maternity ward on Carnival Friday, March 4.
An investigation will also be conducted into the still-birth of a baby boy whose mother Simone Critchlow-Taylor went into labour at the hospital last Saturday.
Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis announced the suspensions in the Boodoo- Ramsoomair case yesterday at a news conference at the ministry’s Park Street headquarters in Port-of-Spain.
Related News: March 16, 2011
I’ll try to be both father and mother
Lorne Ramsoomair, the grief-stricken husband of Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair, who died after a Caesarean section, said yesterday he will try to be the best father to the three children he must now care…
Minister: More facts still needed
More data is to be collected by the Ministry of Health on the death of the 15-pound baby who died in its mother’s womb at the San Fernando General Hospital last week, Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis said yesterday.
Medics in mom’s death still to get suspension letters
Death of mom after C-section at hospital
Related News: March 17, 2011
Doctors and nurses now get suspension letters
Five doctors and four nurses, who were on duty when Crystal Ramsoomair died after giving birth on March 4 at the Maternity Ward of the San Fernando General Hospital, were given their letters of suspension yesterday.
ELECTIVE surgeries in the much maligned Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Ob-Gyn) Department at San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) were cancelled yesterday after five doctors were handed suspension letters in the hospital’s conference room.
CLEAR heads must prevail in a brewing row over the suspension of five doctors and four nurses at San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) after an allegedly botched C-section operation led to the tragic death of 29-year old Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair.
Related News: March 18, 2011
RHA boss gets marching orders
The woman at the centre of a controversy surrounding the delay in suspension letters being issued to medical staff who were on duty on March 4, when a botched Caesarean section resulted in the death of a woman, has been fired.
FOR delaying the issuing of suspension letters to five doctors and four nurses based on a directive by the board of the South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), the authority’s chief executive officer (CEO) Paula Chester-Cumberbatch was fired yesterday.
Chattergoon: I was in tears
Dr Anand Chattergoon, medical director at the San Fernando General Hospital, said he would not be surprised if action is taken against him for supporting the doctors and nurses suspended pending an investigation into the Caesarean-section death of 29-year-old Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair.
MPATT: Suspensions of doctors, nurses unjustified, unlawful
21 thoughts on “Doctors, Nurses Suspended – CEO Fired”
PM Kamla is about maintaining relationships
PRIME Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Thursday said that because she leads a coalition of parties she has to adopt a different approach to leadership, one that embraces maintaining relationships, while avoiding the gratuitous exercise of “muscle”.
Dookeran: No Govt money for Japan
Acting Prime Minister Winston Dookeran indicated to Cabinet colleagues during Thursday’s meeting that he preferred if the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago make financial contributions on behalf of the people of Japan affected by a massive earthquake and tsunami.
Govt accepts liability
Government is accepting full responsibility for the death of Nekeisha Caine and her unborn son due to medical negligence at Port-of-Spain General Hospital.
‘Worst Kind of Tragedy’
GM to act as SWRHA CEO
GENERAL MANAGER of Operations for the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), Anil Gosine, has been appointed as the authority’s acting chief executive officer.
Health Minister stands by SWRHA
Minister backs decision to fire
HEALTH MINISTER Therese Baptiste-Cornelis says she stands by the decision of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) to fire chief executive officer (CEO) Paula Chester-Cumberbatch.
FIRED South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) chief executive officer Paula Chester- Cumberbatch yesterday said felt pressured to immediately suspend five doctors and four nurses to accommodate a public announcement by Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis on Monday.
Dr Anand Chatoorgoon: ‘Health Minister was behind it’
Chatoorgoon next to go
Medical bodies condemn suspensions
Over 150 doctors meet to discuss suspended colleagues
PSA, MPATT lock arms in health rescue plan
Duke: Govt to blame
South medics and nurses plan sick-out action
IN LIGHT of the dismissal of former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the South West Regional Health Authority, Paula Chester-Cumberbatch, for allegedly delaying to issue suspension letters to doctors and nurses, “sick out” action ( Black March) has been planned for Monday.
AMID all that is taking place regarding the suspension of medical staff and the firing of a health authority CEO, the public must not lose sight of the main issue. This issue is that so many mothers and babies die at San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH).
Mom: Public more aware of poor quality health care
Women demonstrate outside hospital over poor health care
Approximately 40 women gathered, with placards, outside the Mount Hope Women’s Hospital, in Mount Hope, at noon yesterday, to express their disapproval with the quality of health care at public hospitals.
In a country where poor people do not have the means to take medical people to court for malpractice; and where the lives of people seem to be regarded as worth as much as the lives of flies, the state has to become the defender of the public from rubbish like some of the stories coming out of our hospitals.
In every culture there are medical mistakes made, and so procedues are now put in place to prevent them. When first pre-op staff began marking where the surgery was to be performed, there was general laughter. Now we know of wrong limbs amputated, wrong teeth extracted, wrong injection given(iodine to a person with a shell fish allergy, resulting in amputation of a limb) and such. Babies are now tagged in US hospitals with micro-chips to prevent the cases of infant kidnappings that still go on in some places.
When the people suspended are our relatives and friends, we are hostile to the result. When it is our relaties and friends who die as a result of bungled procedures, we want to destroy the entire system.
Once again, I say, our nation has to learn to value people. That is the crux of the matter. We must not put our lives on the limb for Mr. So and so, and say we are not treating others because of party politic,or ignore them because they are poor.
We do not know if babies who did not make it would have been the ones to find permanent cures for cancer and the common cold, or start an agricultural revolution that would feed our people, and reduce diabetes.
Once, I believed we were a caring society, but that may have only been because as an educated middle class, married woman, my unborn chilren and I got the best of care, even at government health care centers.I would want that care for the teenage mother giving birth, and for the woman from the rice fields, birthing her 13th child. They are both precious. Patient care should become the thing we are most proud of, about our system, but alas…
When I first saw security guards, armed, in hospital emergency rooms in TnT I wondered if that was necessary. Now I know that doctors need protection from irate patients; and patients need even more protection from incompetent doctors.The state has to be the security guard for the patients in hospitals.
When Dr. Courtney Bartlomew speaks of incompetence and false claims of credentials,in the medical field, a lot of people jump into his face. It seems, that once again, he is right.
From doctors living in hospitals, when they could well afford a home, to having relatives(a brother) live in the hospital,for free, Sando has long been in the negative light of public scrutiny.
It is time the Augean Stables be cleansed of the accumulated muck in all our hospitals. There should be a billboard campaign againsrt medical incompetence, the way some countries put up billboards to remind about the consequences of speeding or drunk driving.(We need those too,but the medical situation is URGENT).
My friend, I live in the USA and often thank God for the access to quality Health Care I have here. I agree with you 100%. Can you look into what it would take to make a difference from a legal perspective? I will be glad to work with you to do whatever is necessary to help. I believe the time is now for us to act on our displeasure in a legal and constructive manner.
Away but still Caring.
Filing a writ as a friend of the court, in the case of one person(victim) whose family sues, may be the best way to go. That way money that you contribute would go where you want it to, and not to some rich shyster of a lawyer, willing to exploit the tragedies that is our health system. Continuing to support the efforts of the Trinidad Express newspapers to boldly expose these scoundrels would also help. I once was a freelancer with the Express but now get no economic reward for the things I write in any paper.
How Chrystal Died
Sacked SWRHA CEO admits breach of Health Ministry’s policy
Chatoorgoon warns Bodoe about ‘personal safety’
In a bizarre twist, Ag Medical Director at the San Fernando General Hospital, Dr Anand Chatoorgoon, yesterday called for the resignation of South West Regional Health Authority, (SWRHA), chairman, Dr Lackram Bodoe saying he, (Chatoorgoon), was fearful for Bodoe’s safety given the recent suspensions of nine members of the San Fernando General Hospital’s (SFGH) medical personnel and the subsequent firing of SWRHA chief executive officer, Paula Chester-Cumberbatch.
Chairman must resign
Suspension letters ‘too harsh’
Former chief executive officer of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Paula Chester-Cumberbatch “tore up” a first draft of the suspension letters for medical staff allegedly involved in a fatal Caesarian section procedure of Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsumair because it was found to be too harsh.
‘Not a case to defend’
Former chief executive officer of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), Paula Chester-Cumberbatch’s reason for allegedly withholding suspension letters to medical personnel at the San Fernando General Hospital, (SFGH), has been brought into question after a number of e-mails, allegedly sent by Chester-Cumberbatch stated that she had considered implementing dismissal procedures against the doctors for medical mismanagement.
I have just read the Express’s piece on “How …Ramsoomair Died.” The e-mails document concerns by both Dr. Chattergoon and the CEO- Cumberbatch.
It is obvious that she was fired, not for the delay in issuing the suspension letters, which may have had wording problems, but for saying, from her position “This is not a case to defend.” Obviously her informed opinion, but it apparently left the backsliders and the push-under-the-ruggers no wiggle room. This woman did everything she was supposed to do, and further, used her initiative to recommend counselling for the family. If she had blamed the problem on instrument failure- wrong readings of blood pressure etc, and thus provided a rock for incompetent people to slide under, she would still have her job. Firing five doctors of one ethnic group, under this parent umbrella of pee-pee people, was a wrong move to be considered. If she sues, I will donate half my month’s food allownce to her legal fund. I do not have much, and do not eat much, but such a strong woman is in need of support.
Dr. Chattergoon should explain his “Another one” from the e-mail.How many more did die, before this sh-t hit the fan?
While we wait on my prvious comment to get the green light of the moderator, let me ask one more question: How many patients died when the Cuban doctors were here, because they”could not spek English?”, and as a direct result of actions they took? Remember the hue and cry about their service? Others wanted their friends brought in,and paid large sums, it seems.
The culture of corruption and ‘cover up’ plaguing this country must come to an end.Accountability and transparency must pervade every important sector in Trinidad and Tobago such as the health care sector and the criminal justice system.Corruption flourished under the PNM regime for too long it’s time for this nonsense to end.Integrity must be the new rule of the day.A human being died under questionable circumstances at the hospital and correct protocol must be followed as in first world countries.A thorough investigation must be done to determine the cause of death and any party involved must be held culpable if medical negligence or malpractice is proven.If the administration at SFGH attempted to ‘cover up’ the matter then they must be ordered to leave.The indelible culture of corruption must end NOW.
Email exchange following Chrystal’s death
Monday, March 21 2011
IMMEDIATELY following the death of housewife, Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair on March 4 as a result of a botched Caesarean section at the San Fernando General Hospital, a series of emails which spoke of an alleged breach of protocols and regulations on the management of high-risk cases, were exchanged between sacked South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) chief executive officer (CEO) Paula Chester-Cumberbatch, chairman of the SWRHA board Dr Lackram Bodoe, and medical director of the hospital, Dr Anand Chatoorgoon.
Following are the emails, obtained by Newsday, which began moments after Boodoo- Ramsoomair’s death.
To: Paula Chester -Cumberbatch
Date: Fri, Mar 4, 2011:
Cc: Dr. Lackram SWRHA BOD-Chairman Bodoe
Subject: Lost another obstetric case tonight
Not good news. Lost another obstetric case tonight. Third Caesarean Section–postpartum haemorrhage–Hysterectomy–still bleeding in spite of blood components–death.
Doctors involved–Drs. Ashmeed Mohammed, Roma Jaggernauth. Intensivist–Dr. Peng. Patient’s name was Chrystal Ramsoomair, age 29 years.
She died in the ICU in spite of vigorous supportive measures. Baby is fine.
More details tomorrow.
From: Paula Chester-Cumberbatch To: Dr. Anand SWRHA Chatoorgoon
CC: Dr. Lackram SWRHA BOD-Chairman Bodoe” Dr Akenath Misir; Seeromanie Rampersad- Debideen; Geraldine Lewis; Nalini Parasram; Dr Anthon Cumberbatch.
Subject: Lost another Obstetric case tonight
Date: Saturday, March 5, 2011,
Dear MD (Ag) and Colleagues, Thanks for this timely update. Please ensure all reports are written up by the doctors and nurses (GM Nursing is also copied) asap and the patient’s medical file and notes secured. I have copied our EMD and Manager Quality as well with a request to follow-up as necessary/accordingly.
The EMD is also advised that he is required to orchestrate the necessary Mortality Review exercise, as the report from this Review would be required for submission to the Maternal & Infant Mortality & Morbidity Oversight Committee (being finalized through the Board). Please be reminded that a final report would be required within 60 days (maximum) for the Ministry of Health (MOH) in keeping with the MOH Adverse Events Policy (4th draft).
Finally Anand and Seromanie, please ensure the family is offered and receives counselling, and that proper/correct information is shared with the family. Do also advise me asap if you perceive any discontent by the family. Respectfully, Paula Chester-
Cumberbatch CEO, SWRHA Cc: Chief Medical Officer, MOH
From: Anand Chatoorgoon
Date: Sat, March 5, 2011
To: Paula Chester-Cumberbatch
CC: Dr. Lackram SWRHA BOD-Chairman Bodoe” Dr Akenath Misir; Seeromanie Rampersad-Debideen; Geraldine Lewis; Nalini Parasram; Dr Anthon Cumberbatch.
Subject: Re: Lost another Obstetric case tonight
I have spoken with Dr Ashmeed Mohammed and Dr Peng, requesting that all reports from the relevant doctors be submitted to me by Wednesday morning. The postmortem will be done on carnival Monday morning by Professor Daisley. I shall attend and give you an update. In the meantime, I have issued verbal instructions that not only must the O&G Registrar be present in the theatre when Caesarean Sections are being performed, but also they must actually scrub for the case. In the particular case in question, the Caesarean Section was performed by a house- officer and not a Registrar although it is true to say that the house-officer has acted as Registrar in the past.
Will keep you updated.
From: Paula Chester-Cumberbatch
Date: Sat, 5 March 2011 To: Dr.Lackram Bodoe; Dr Anton Cumberbatch
CC: Dr Akenath Misir; Seeromanie Rampersad-Debideen; Geraldine Lewis; Beverly Reid-Samuel; Allyson Cudjoe; Dr Anand Chatoorgoon
Subject: Lost another Obstetrics case tonight
Dear Chairman and CMO: After all I have since heard on this maternal death, it is quite clear to me that we have breached the MOH Policy on the management of high-risk cases. By breach, I am noting that the Registrar ‘failed to observe the Policy’ whereby a house officer is not to perform a c-section alone in high risk cases. This patient was indeed ‘high-risk’ as this was her third c-section.
For me this shows gross complacency and negligence by the senior doctor involved and what the SWRHA has not done before, I will need to address with the assistance of the new Board. Specifically, dismissal of staff on grounds of medical mismanagement, with a covering HR/Legal Policy established.
I was told the Registrar responsible was in Clinic at the time of the c-section. Was the patient’s need for a c-section on Friday morning an emergent situation?
Until I read the reports, my lay– woman response is no. Hence it could have been rescheduled by a few hours to fit the availability of the responsible Registrar, who gave clearance to the House Officer to proceed.
Shouldn’t the House Officer have used her common-sense, that is mindful of the MOH Policy and the ‘underlying level of risk’ for the patient, to have this surgery re-scheduled based on the on the availability of her Registrar? The answer is yes.
On another note I am also concerned that nobody (doctor/nurse) picked up on the fact that the patient was pale and her vitals indicating something was going wrong. Her PM is scheduled for Monday so we know better what went wrong.
From a management perspective, the EMD is to orchestrate the necessary Maternal Mortality Review. You would read below that verbal instructions were given to the O&G Unit. This is to be reinforced in writing on Wednesday.
However, apart from this, please note instructions were also given to the ICU staff that they are to serve as ‘gate-keepers’ whereby unless the Registrar is scrubbed for the case, they are not to anesthetize any patient for a c-section.
Finally, a closure-meeting was held with the family and SWRHA (doctors, quality coordinator) this afternoon, and I was just informed that the patient’s family feel that the doctors and the nurses were all negligent.
They were pleased with the treatment from the moment the problem was detected but feel that their relative died due to our delay, by both doctors and nurses, in recognising her deteriorating problem.
If they decide to take legal action, this would not be a case to defend.
Respectfully, Paula Chester-Cumberbatch CEO, SWRHA From: Paula Chester-Cumberbatch
Date: March 5, 2011
To: Dr Akenath Misir
CC: Geraldine Lewis; Beverly Reid-Samuel; Allyson Cudjoe; Dr Anand Chatoorgoon; Dr Akenath misir; Dr Lackram Bodoe; Betty ann Pilgrim; Seromanie Rampersd-Debideen; Bonnie Crawford; Ashmeed Mohammed; Pamala Maraj; Dr Anton Cumbertbatch
Subject: Prelim Meeting on Carnival Tuesda- Maternal Mortality Review (Lost another Obstetrics case tonight)
Dear Dr Misir and Colleagues, Further to my voice-mail message a few minutes ago, and given the serious nature of this case, I would like for your first Maternal Mortality Review meeting to be held this Tuesday, for which I will also attend. If this is convenient to you please advise asap, as well as the time for our meeting. This matter has me and I am sure all of us very perturbed, as we don’t seem to be moving forward in O&G in terms of eliminating such MDG occurrences. Finally, as you know on Wednesday we have the Human Resources Committee meeting and on Thursday is Clinical Governance and Ethics Committee meeting.
My intent is for discussion to be held by these two Committees on this maternal death in terms enforcing, crafting or amending an HR Policy, to (a) formally/properly recognise medical mismanagement as grounds for termination, (b) determine system for verifying medical mismanagement, and (c) levels of disciplinary measures to be instituted.
All in keeping with the RHA Conduct Regulations. I/we await your response.
Thanks much. Paula Chester-Cumberbatch CEO, SWRHA
Statement of the Senior Legal Officer
Monday, March 21 2011
Following is the statement, obtained by Newsday, sent by the SWRHA’s senior legal officer Allyson Cudjoe in response to a request from the SWRHA’s Board of Directors on her handling of the directive given as it related to the suspension of the five doctors and four nurses who were on duty at the time of the 29-year-old mother’s death at the hospital’s maternity ward.
STATEMENT OF THE SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER
This statement is made in response to a request from the Board of Directors of the South-West Regional Health Authority on my handling of the directive of the Board of Directors given at the Emergency Meeting of the Board, held on March 11, 2011. The request for this statement was made at an Emergency Meeting of the Board held on March 16, 2011. I am the Senior Legal Officer of the South-West Regional Health Authority. In that capacity, I report to and take instructions from the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority. The Chief Executive Officer of the Authority reports to and takes instructions from the Board of Directors of the Authority. Sometime between 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm on Sunday March 13, 2011, I received a call from the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority reminding me that she had not yet seen a draft of the suspension letter reflecting the decision of the Emergency Meeting of the Board of Directors on Friday March 11, 2011. I apologized for the delay and promised to send the letter out later that day. I completed the letter and was about to transmit a copy to the Chief Executive Officer, when I observed that she had sent an email on the matter. The email was dated Sunday March 13, 2011 and time stamped 11:17 pm and addressed to me. The hard copy of the email is attached as Appendix 1. Among other things the e mail stated that “another approach” was being considered by the Chief Executive Officer and that it would be discussed the following morning.
Sometime before 8.00 am on Monday morning, I received a call from the Chief Executive Officer inviting me to attend a meeting at 8.00 am in the Conference Room of the San Fernando General Hospital. I arrived at the Conference Room on or about 7.50 am. Sometime between 8:00 am and 8.30 am that morning, I received a second call from the Chief Executive Officer enquiring about the suspension letter and stating that “the approach” being considered entailed allowing the doctors and nursing staff to take “voluntary leave”. I explained to her that I had not sent the letter on Sunday because of her email of that day, but that I had in my possession a printed copy of the letter. She also enquired about the status of the letter appointing the persons to investigate the death of the patient. I informed her that the appointment letter would be completed in accordance with the contents of her email of Sunday, following the meeting.
Upon her arrival at the Conference Room, the Chief Executive Officer called a meeting of the General Manager Human Resources, the General Manager Nursing Acting, the Executive Medical Director of Health and myself in the ante room of the Medical Director’s Office and she enquired about the suspension letter. After glancing at the letter the Chief Executive Officer then tore it up. I asked why it was torn up, to which the Chief Executive Officer replied that the letter was too harsh and that she wanted to take a softer approach.I tried to point to the specific paragraphs of the suspension letter that ‘softened the approach’, but abandoned the idea after she appeared annoyed. Annexed, as Appendix 2 of this Report is the torn letter and/or a copy of same. The Chief Executive Officer then asked to be advised on the ‘voluntary leave approach’. I advised her of the need to ensure that all staff had the required amounts and type of leave to cover the period of the investigation and that the staff remained available for the investigation. I also raised the possibility of staff rejecting the ‘voluntary approach’ and advised that whichever option she then chose to proceed with would become the precedent for the handling of any future adverse events.
The Chief Executive Officer then rose and motioned us into the Conference Room. In the Conference room, the Chief Executive Officer welcomed the group of persons present, made the introductions and then began to address the group. In the Room on behalf of the Authority, was the Chief Executive Officer, the General Manager Nursing Acting, the General Manager Human Resources and myself. Among the other persons present, were a number of doctors and the President of the Medical Professionals Association of Trinidad and Tobago. Neither the Executive Medical Director nor the Medical Director were present. The Chief Executive Officer announced that I would take notes, and I did so. I am in the process of transcribing those notes. Among the matters discussed at that meeting was ‘the voluntary approach.’
After I learnt that the Chief Executive Officer was pursuing the ‘voluntary approach’, I recalled that I had suggested a voluntary approach at the March 11, 2011 Emergency Board Meeting (as a possible alternative to the suspensions). However, I also recalled that that option was firmly rejected by the Board. Therefore, I wondered whether there had been a change in the position of the Board of Directors over the weekend. However, I did not question the Chief Executive Officer on the decision to pursue this approach and remained resolved to follow her direction. Following the meeting with the doctors and at about 9.15 am that Monday, the Chief Executive Officer, the General Manager Nursing Acting, the General Manager Human Resources and myself proceeded across the lobby to a meeting with the nurses and their trade union representatives. There again, I took notes.
The matters discussed were almost identical to the matters discussed with the doctors and included ‘the voluntary approach’. At about 2.00 pm on Monday afternoon, I received a call from the Chief Executive Officer that the doctors and/or nurses had rejected the ‘voluntary approach’ and that I should send her a draft of the suspension letter. I immediately did so, by email. Over the ensuing hours and into Tuesday morning, I discussed with the Chief Executive Officer several instructions for changes to the suspension letter, including the fact that I had prepared the suspension letter for execution by the General Manager, Human Resources. I was then instructed to make the executing party, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Authority. By 9.15 am on Tuesday March 15, 2011, except for verification of the recipients of the letters, I had made all of the changes requested by the Chief Executive Officer and was preparing to finalise the letters.
The letter appointing the Investigative Panel was abandoned, because I had been advised at about 7.00 am that morning that the Ministry would now be appointing the Investigative Panel. By Tuesday afternoon, I had prepared and sent to the Chief Executive Officer the package of final suspension letters, for signature by the Chairman. Sometime later, I was informed by the Chief Executive Officer that the Chairman had either instructed her to execute the letters or had refused to sign the letters.
I therefore changed the letters and sent them letters to the Chief Executive Officer, for her signature. I was then asked to send the letters to the General Manager, Human Resources, for transmission. I did so.At about 5.30 pm or thereabouts, on Tuesday evening, I was asked to make a further change, at which time I had a three way telephone conversation with the Chief Executive Officer, the General Manager Human Resources and the Senior Human Resource Officer, Industrial Relations, in which I expressed my concern at the length of time it was taking to achieve consensus on the contents of the suspension letter, the possible negative impact this delay may have on the affected staff, and the implications of this delay for the operation of the Departments affected and the impending investigation.
I urged the Chief Executive Officer to expedite the service of the suspension letters as the delay now risked violating the directives of the Board and compromising the announcement of the Honorable Minister. On Wednesday morning I was asked to make a further change to the suspension letter, which I asked my Professional Secretary to effect and transmit to the Chief Executive Officer, as I was on my way to a meeting. A copy of the final suspension letter is annexed hereto as Appendix 3. On my way to that meeting, I met the Chief Executive Officer and enquired as to the status of the letters. I was informed that the letters were be hand delivered that morning Wednesday March 16, 2011). I heard nothing about the letters until I was called to the Emergency Meeting of the Board later that day. The statements herein are true and correct, to the best of my recollection, information and belief.
Respectfully ‘Your Partners in Health’
ALLYSON CUDJOE SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER March 17, 2011
Investigation starts today
The three-member team appointed by the Ministry of Health to investigate the death of Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair at the San Fernando General Hospital will begin its investigations today at the hospital.
Rules broken in Chrystal’s death
NEW information has come to light which suggests that rules and procedures were broken by medical staff who performed the Caesarean section on Carapichaima mother Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair on March 4.
Docs to March
Scores of doctors, nurses and administrative staff are up in arms over last Wednesday’s suspension of five doctors and four nurses following the death of a Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair, 29, on Carnival Friday. Boodoo-Ramsoomair died after an emergency C-section surgery at the San Fernando Hospital but her baby survived.
Rowley slams ‘health crisis’ in South
Accountability must be visible
“WAH HAPPENEN DAY?”
Doctors, Nurses Suspended – CEO Fired !!!
It seems that, before the situation worsens, the one who should be fired is Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis,,, for her failures.
Under Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis, The Ministry of Health problems are clearly due to a shortage of doctors and nurses.
Mrs. Therese Baptiste-Cornelis was appointed a Senator and Minister of Health on May 28, 2010. Since then, The Ministry of Health has been in shortage of:
a Medical Board, until Feb 2011
more than 100 doctors,
more than 400 nurses …
Under the previous administration, more than 200 Cuban doctors and nurses have worked in Trinidad and Tobago as a solution to the critical shortage of doctors at public hospitals.
The service of Cuban doctors and nurses to Trinidad and Tobago was time tested and found to be exemplary. This is not surprising when considering that while a Trinidad and Tobago doctor graduates with a Bachelors Degree, a Cubandoctor graduates after six years with what is closer to a Masters Degree.
Certain locals, in the tradition that “no one stones barren mango trees”, have gone as far as to spread the rumour that Cubans don’t speak English.
The truth is:
Cuban doctors and nurses speak English.
IT IS TRINIDADIANS AND TOBAGONIANS WHO DO NOT SPEAK “ENGLISH” !!!
As a former British colony, the official language of Trinidad and Tobago is said to be British -English. The truth is: Trinidadians and Tobagonians speak English with a wide variety of accents and innovations due to the impact of Spanish, French, Indian, and African languages. Hindi is also spoken widely in Trinidad-Indian communities, whether they are in Trinidad and Tobago, or in Toronto. The styles of English therefore range from standard British-English, usually spoken in formal conversations, to the more common Trinidad-English, which is a mixture of Spanish, French, British, African and Indian. It must be noted, however, that while no sharp break exists between Trinidad-English and British-English, the Trinidadians who have the most difficulty in speaking British-English and even Trinidad-English, are the Trinidad-Indians who cling to Hindi.
Be that as it may, it is clear that the Cuban doctors and nurses quickly acclimatize and learn to speak Trinidad-English, and thus serve all Trinidadians and Tobagonians.
The Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis has chosen to serve only that segment of the population who have the most difficulty in speaking British-English and even Trinidad-English.
The Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis has chosen to discontinue providing Trinidadians and Tobagonians with Cuban doctors and nurses. She will instead ensure that the Hindi speaking community will be served by Indian doctors from India.
The question now is:
“BUH, WAH GO HAPPEN TO THE RES AH WE TRINIS?”
“GEE WEE BACK DEE CUBAN BREEGADES NOW NAH !!!”
The title of “Doctor” whether of medicine(M.D), humane letters,(D.Phil) science,(Ph.D- eng.) education,(E.D.) or jurispudence(J.D.), is the level of study beyond the Masters degree, and usually requirs seven years or more to become a licenciate.
If there are “doctors” running all over the place, in TnT, who only have a BA in biology, please investigate and boot them out of our system.Send them to their country of origin for operating under false pretences, and fraud, but not before you sieze their assets to compensate the victims’families.
I have a friend who is interviewing people from an Asian country, for a series of jobs in the gas processing field in West Africa. According to her, a number of people who claim to be qualified, cannot describe the kinds of processors they worked on, and when the questions become techni-specific, they claim not to understand what the speaker is saying.
My fear that such similar people, masquerading as “doctors of medicine” may be practicing in our hospitals. The love of grand titles turn out to be deadly for the patients and traumatic for their famiies.
Can Dr. Chattergoon , again, please, clarify:” we lost another one tonight?” Can the papers get access to the hospital records to see how many childbearing women have been killed by these thugs?
PM backs suspension of medical staff
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last night defended Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis in the suspension of doctors and nurses at the South West Regional Health Authority following the death of Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair, 29, who died during childbirth, on March 4, at the maternity ward of the San Fernando General Hospital. Persad-Bissessar’s vote of confidence came during a news conference at the Diplomatic Lounge, Piarco International Airport, late yesterday.
3 Ministers to probe firing of SWRHA CEO
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced last night that a three-man inter-ministerial committee will be established to probe the firing of chief executive officer of the South West Regional Health Authority Paula Chester-Cumberbatch.
Operations at standstill at Sando hospital following new Ministry directive
Rowley: SWRHA doctors protest unfortunate
Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley says it is unfortunate that doctors have to take to the streets to protest but he understands their plight.
Nurses support colleagues
ABOUT 100 nurses were among the crowd of public servants who showed up at a march organised by the Public Service Association (PSA) in San Fernando yesterday.
Docs blank panel
The first meeting of an investigative panel into the death of Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair stalled yesterday as the five suspended doctors and four nurses failed to report for questioning at the offices of the South West Regional Health (SWRHA) in San Fernando yesterday.
Doctors boycott probe into death at hospital
Doctors reject guild, probe delayed
‘Minister told of plan to transfer docs’
Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis was told that the doctors and nurses involved in the care of Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair, who died after a Caesarean section, would be warned and transferred at the San Fernando General Hospital while the case was investigated.
TTMA warns against jeopardising probe
The TT Medical Association (TTMA) has warned against actions and statements which may jeopardise the investigation into the death of Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair at the San Fernando General Hospital on March 4 last.
Medic: Baby Gianni had a ‘diseased heart’
Medical Director of the San Fernando General Hospital, Dr Anand Chatoorgoon, yesterday said “in light of the findings of the autopsy,” he was unable to state whether or not, a probe will be conducted into the circumstances surrounding the death of 15-pound baby Gianni.
NWRHA, Nekeisha’s family to begin talks
DISCUSSIONS on compensation for the family of Nekeisha Caine are expected to begin at the end of this week. Caine died at Port-of-Spain General Hospital on November 2 after choking on her vomit. Her baby also died.
No action yet against medics at city hospital
NCRHA sub-committee probing baby’s death
NWRHA team to probe death
CHAIRMAN of the North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA), Dr Eddison Haqq, says a committee has been created to determine what action will be taken against the health workers involved in the death of Nikeisha Caine.
Again, I call on the news media to keep their feet to the fire. Maybe no wealthy or middle class people go to our local hospitals any more, or only those go who have a doctor in the family. Our contempt for people has to cease. My mother gave birth 13 times, so did one of my aunts. She went to the hospital only for the last two.What did the old midwives know that these modern doctors have not learned?I thank God that not a single baby of the Edwards family has been lost to stupidness like this. It is from that fount of blessings, that I will keep saying: go after them. Human life is valuable.
CHRYSTAL BLED TO DEATH
WHEN doctors performed a second operation on Chrystal Ramsoomair to prevent bleeding in her womb, two arteries cut during the surgery were not stitched back and the young Carapichaima mother bled to death.
Too Scared to Work
Approximately 30 elective surgeries are being cancelled at the San Fernando General Hospital daily, while anaesthetists await clarification on whether they are breaching Health Ministry policy
Surgeries on hold
Patients endure long wait at Sando hospital
Dismissed SWRHA chief ‘backs probe into firing’
MPATT in meeting with Mt Hope doctors
A LARGE turnout of doctors from the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope were last night locked in a meeting in Amphitheatre A, at the complex, with officials from the Medical Professionals Association (MPATT) discussing a range of issues, chief of them being the suspension of doctors and nurses at the San Fernando General Hospital.
A mother is dead
WHILE doctors, nurses and various medical associations continue to make a public outcry over the suspensions of doctors and nurses following the death of a woman shortly after her daughter was delivered via caesarian section, Independent Senator Dr Rolph Balgobin yesterday reminded the nation that, “A young mother and wife is now dead!”
Don’t forget a young mother bled to death
Consultant removed from panel
HEALTH MINISTER Therese Baptiste-Cornelis yesterday said consultant gynaecologist Dr Adesh Sirjusingh has been removed from a three-member panel appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Chrystal Ramsoomair at the San Fernando General Hospital on March 4.
No plan by Therese to heed resign call
Health Minister Therese Baptiste-Cornelis says it is a democratic country and people are free to call for her resignation in the wake of the turmoil created in the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) over the suspension of health employees at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) and firing of CEO Paula Chester-Cumberbatch. However, she says she will not step down and is standing firm on decisions taken with respect to the SWRHA.
Therese backs Kamla
HEALTH MINISTER Therese Baptiste-Cornelis yesterday welcomed Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s announcement of a ministerial committee to review the dismissal of the CEO of the South West Regional Health Authority Paula Chester-Cumberbatch.
Patients in middle of Govt/doctors wrangle
Despite vigorous championing of their cause, doctors aren’t likely to get sympathy, and may even alienate the public more, if people conclude they do protest too much.
For Chrystal’s sake
We welcome the announcement of the appointment of a three member team to investigate the dismissal of Chief Executive Officer of the South West Regional Health Authority, Paula Chester-Cumberbatch, which is overshadowing the crucial probe into the tragic death of 29-year-old Chrystal Ramsoomair at the San Fernando General Hospital on March 4.
Family takes issue with doctor, wants meeting
Baby Gianni, the 15-pound baby who died in the womb two weeks ago while the mother awaited a Caesarean-section at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH), was laid to rest yesterday.
Gianni laid to rest
CHAIRMAN of the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Lackram Bodoe yesterday said the board is awaiting a full report from the Quality Department of the San Fernando General Hospital regarding the incident involving the death of 15-pound baby Gianni.
And why in the name of the God of Abraham, are doctors protesting the suspensions, and demontrating? Do they believe that what happened to Crysrtal, to baby Giani, the teen mother whoe dead baby she found covered in ants(the premier teaching hospital with no pest control?) and the woman who choked on her vomit, losing her life and her baby’s? Why, but for contempt of the people and the investigative process are those suspended refusing to attend the hearings? They are still on the state’s payroll, did they think of that?
THE REAL REASON WHY T&T MINISTRY OF HEALTH IS PLAGUED WITH A SHORTAGE OF MEDICAL STAFF…
MBTT/MPATT are stiffly resisting the idea of Cuban trained Trinbagonian doctors or Cuban doctors meeting the shortage of 275 doctors, because they are afraid that more patients will receive free treatment at public hospitals. MBTT/MPATT members are afraid that they will receive less money through private practice if that happens.
In October 2010, Baptiste-Cornelis said “We want the best doctors, but they have to be affordable” She knows that the best affordable are Cuban doctors. She can have the urgently needed 275 medical staff, 2,517 nurses and 161 pharmacists, on short notice from Cuba, yet she is supporting the MBTT/MPATT combo in their anti-Cuban-doctor campaign, and parroting the MBTT/MPATT combo lie that Cuban doctors in T&T do not speak English.
Work permits are being issued to doctors from as far away as India, while contracts of Cuban doctors are not extended, and Cuban trained Trinbagonian doctors have been out of jobs for as long as 6 months because MBTT refuses to grant them licences.
The MBTT/MPATT combo is not acknowledging the ethical principles in patient care. They are misusing their positions to protect their money making interests, over the interests of The People that they have sworn by Hippocratic Oath to uphold.
What can be more hypocritical than that?
Trinbagonians studying Medicine in Cuba receive the “Doctor en Medicina” degree, recognised by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT), which visited Cuba about four years ago.
The MBTT appointed in January 2011 by the present Government of Trinidad and Tobago, has decided not to allow Trinbagonian Doctors educated in Cuba, to practise medicine, until they have written further CAMC examinations and done CAMC practical exams. The argument presented by the newly appointed MBTT, is that the Language of Instruction of their medical training is NOT English. One would expect that a bilingual (English and Spanish speaking) Trinbagonian doctor would be prized instead of being undervalued. The other argument presented by the newly appointed MBTT, is that Cuban Medical Schools are “Non-Traditional”. These are Cuban Medical Schools that have been accredited by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) even before the University of the West Indies (UWI). Founded in 1728, 283 years ago, The University of Havana, is the oldest university in Cuba and one of the first to be founded in the Americas. UWI is now 60 years old. Which university is more traditional? Hundreds of Cuban Doctors and Nurses have served and are serving in Trinidad and Tobago. MBTT omitting Cuban Universities from the MBTT list of “Traditional Universities” smacks of “CACADAISM”.
T&T HAVE NICE HOSPITAL BUILDINGS BUT SHORTAGE OF MEDICAL STAFF
Cuba has the best doctor-to-population ratio in the world, with one doctor for every 200 people.
Trinidad and Tobago has less than 1 doctor for 1,000 people. Senator the Honourable Therese Baptiste-Cornelis, Minister of Health could go to the American and European countries in search of 275 doctors, 2,467 nurses and 161 pharmacists, and she won’t find them, because those countries don’t have them. Trinidad and Tobago should be looking to form that human capital now.
Cuba is the only country that is offering a free medical school education for students committed to serving the needs of impoverished people. While Guyana is sending hundreds of students to Cuba to study Medicine, the UWI / MBTT/ MPATT , to protect their CACADA , are on an anti-Cuba campaign to maintain the a total shortage of 2,903 personnel in the health sector.
Unlike the previous Minister of Health who fought tooth and claw to get the Cuban doctors here, the present Honourable Therese Baptiste-Cornelis, Minister of Health seems bent on helping to maintain that shortage. You can expect that in 2020, Tobago, like San Fernando, will have a nice Hospital building with a shortage of staff, and T&T will still be a third world country with poor health conditions..
Meanwhile, the few bilingual Trinbagonian doctors educated and trained in Cuba, if they remain in T&T, will be still unemployed, and receiving hell from the MBTT/MPATT combo.
THE MEDICAL BOARD OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, HAS EVOLVED INTO AN OLIGARCHY
MBTT The Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago, (2011-2014): President Professor Surujpal Teelucksingh, Vice President Professor Samuel Ramsewak, Secretary Dr. Adesh Sirjusingh, Treasurer Dr. Anton Cumberbatch, Members of Council Dr. Colin Furlonge, Dr. Dev Ramoutar, Dr. Shehenaz Mohammed, Dr. Vin Sein Chiang, Mrs. Lynette Seebaran-Suite, Mr. Sharma Maharaj, Pundit Lutchmidath Persad-Maharaj.
MPATT: The Board of Medical Professionals Association of Trinidad and Tobago August 25, 2009, comprises: President – Dr. Colin Furlonge;Vice Presidents – Dr. David Josa, Dr. Steve Budhooram, Dr. Saroja Rao Suryadevara; Secretary General– Dr. Balkaran Ramkisson; Treasurer – Dr. Shehenaz Mohammed; Trustees – Dr. Hughley H. Hanoman (Snr), Dr. Lakhan Roop; Immediate Past President – Dr. Rajendra Persad
Most MBTT board members come from UWI School of Medicine, and MPATT; and (NOT counting the Lawyer, Pundit, and Accountant), almost all MBTT board members are MPATT members.
Thus the power brokers who determine who become doctors in Trinidad and Tobago are MBTT and MPATT. This MBTT/MPATT combo, is maintaining “their” status quo by using their own yardsticks to determine who get into UWI Medical School, and who get Medical Licenses. The MBTT/MPATT combo does NOT respect the principles of fair play, nor give equal opportunity to all Doctors.
Cont’d ..THE MBTT – OLIGARCHY
When the present regime looks to fill the gap with foreign doctors, we find Cuban Doctors, and Trinbagonian Doctors trained in Cuba, are being blocked from working in Medical Services. The end result is that and Trinidad and Tobago being short of Doctors to serve The People. As long as Trinidad and Tobago has this artificial shortage of doctors, The People will end up in the blockers Private Hospitals to be bled of their money. The MBTT is not acting in the interest of The people. The MBTT is protecting the MBTT/MPATT CACADA.
The present regime has given MBTT the responsibility of regulating the Medical Services, and at the same time, MPATT (the alter ego of MBTT) has the responsibility of making money in the same sector. This mingling of two distinct roles (making rules and making money) — like the mixing of oil and water, has led to the ineffectiveness of the Health Sector in Trinidad and Tobago.
Bad governance in T&T, and ethnocentrism, are the root causes of the ethnic imbalances and the total shortage of 2,903 personnel in the health sector that we are seeing today.
The Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago, has evolved into an oligarchy, because of weaknesses in the Medical Board Act, Chapter 29:50, Act 35 of 1960.
Based on the above, Act 35 of 1960 must be amended to end the oligarchy, and thus end the ethnic imbalances and thus end the total shortage of 2,903 personnel in the health sector, IN THE INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE !! END THE OPPRESSION !!
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