Mount Hope Also A Story of Success and Care

By Stephen Kangal
March 23, 2008

DoctorsThank you for the opportunity to provide first hand evidence of the positive success side of the mission of the flag-ship Mount Hope Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) to provide, inter alia, caring and timely health services to the nation. I write this letter in the face of potential allegations of medical negligence being currently attributed to the institution. Mount Hope was built by Sodeteg, a French Company under a Government-to-Government arrangement in the 1980’s. It was named in memory our first Prime Minister against his express wishes.

Recently I attended an outstanding and exceptionally erudite and brilliant public lecture delivered by Professor Surujpal Teelucksingh of the EWMSC. His theory is that one’s skin conditions can be a sign-post to sedentary life-style diseases. This well-loved Professor received a standing ovation for his well-researched presentation from the appreciative and over-flowing public and professional audience that filled the hall.

A few months ago my brother who had to seek emergency attention at the Complex related to me, to my utter disbelief, in glowing terms of the excellent treatment that he received as a patient. After that a former T&T Ambassador to Brazil also bore testimony to me on the state of the art medical treatment and care that he received at the Complex as a member of the public when he suffered an emergency cardiac condition that required hospitalization.

Well I had to undertake an elective cardiac review as member of the public at the Cardiac Catherization Lab on Wednesday last at Mount Hope. That was similar to the one that I underwent in 1999 at the Ottawa Heart Institute, Canada as a private patient.

Readers please believe me when I say that the treatment that I received by the business-like, caring, dedicated- to- their- job and highly professional staff at the Mount Hope Catherization Lab at public expense was of the very best that one can receive anywhere in the world including in Canada. And I have traveled the world.

The pre-medical procedure assessment conducted by Dr. S. Mohammed of the Lab was confidence-building to me and medically very thorough. On the actual day of the potentially dangerous procedure I was buoyed up and sustained by nurses, doctors and other ancillary theatre staff. They displayed the highest standard of medical care and professionalism. That ambience made me feel very secure as a patient as I negotiated in my mind facing the delicate intricacies and technical challenges that were involved in the procedure.

I only discovered while in the operating theatre that two of my former UWI lecturers, Roy and Ena Thomas contributed to producing a son of the soil in the person of Dr. Clifford Thomas. He heads the Cardiology Team at the Catherization Lab at Mount Hope. May God continue to work through and guide his delicate and skilful hands.

I doubt whether private hospitals anywhere can measure up to and attain the same high level of value-for-money staff professionalism and state-of- the-art cardio technology fitted and employed in delivering public health services at the Cath Lab at the EWMSC.

The public sector can adequately deliver with proper motivation and enlightened leadership, efficient and timely services such as those provided by Drs. Thomas, Mankee, Mohammed and Staff of the Mount Hope Cath Lab.

4 thoughts on “Mount Hope Also A Story of Success and Care”

  1. Stephen Kangal, thank your lucky stars with the experience you have had at Mt.Hope okay.
    The evidence exist in black and white and it seems to outway the good. The FACT remains that there is gross negligence and apathy going on at Mt.Hope. The evidence of the untimely deaths recently of children, mis-diagnosis etc. should be looked into. Doctors have been getting away with murder, no accountability, no responsibility and the poor people continue to suffer. Another thing, people need to be more aggressive, ask questions, lots of questions to your health care professionals. Get answers, make them accountable. Do NOT BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP, do not be intimidated, being a “doctor” is no big deal, he is human like yourself and has problems and issues, deep issues.

    Where is the accountability?

  2. Sir,

    Sadly you are perhaps one of a blessed few to so enjoy a positive experience at that facility.

    My first experience was the birth of my younger sister. She was born in perfect health but contracted meningitis while still at the Mont Hope maternity hospital. Yes, she died.

    There was no show of compassion on the part of any hospital official. Further my family’s attempts to obtain an explanation, medical or otherwise proved to be an exercise in futility.

    To this day… nothing.

    My most recent experience was two years ago when I returned home with my wife and son on Christmas vacation.

    Rambunctious child that he is, my son fell and struck his head while running in his socks on my mother’s just polished wood floors. The result was a concussion and we were told he would have to be kept at EWMSC for observation overnight.

    That was christmas Eve.

    My wife spent the night with him. After having read the ever increasing number of horror stories about about the health care system in my beloved country (and yes I fiercely love my country in spite of) she was not about to leave her as she says “one piece of boychild” alone at that hospital.

    I was at the hospital first thing on Christmas day and waited for the doctor to make his rounds, hopeful that my son would be given the green light to go home and open the gifts lavished upon him by doting grandparents.

    Fortunately, we were told he could leave and were presented with a discharge form to sign.

    I immediately began questioning the doctor as to how he arrived at the decision to discharge my son.

    He never examined my son. I mean not so much as use one of those pocket lights to look into his eyes or even ask whether my boy had any head pain or anything.

    I refused to sign the document, but left with my son and took him to the nearby Medical Assocites to be properly examined. I proceeded to file a complaint with the health ministry. So far nothing.

    Not so much as a “we’ll get back to you”

    It’s as if these doctors are demigods not to be questioned by the likes of some concerned parent seeking their child’s best interest.

    I still go to EWMSC every time I come home, but only to use the grounds as a safe place to exercise before the sun sets.

  3. I thoroughly and genuinely agree with your concerns about the service at the EWMSC and other local health institutions. As a local doctor, i believe patients deserve the best and should be counselled or doctors are supposed to answer any questions asked. After all, medication alone is not the sole remedy. Communication is vital. I can’t apologize for my colleagues mistakes but i can offer my sympathy and support. I hope that one day these things can change. It should be noted, however, that there are also very compassionate and competent doctors in our hospitals and a label should not be made for them all.

  4. with these statements i do not agree for i know Dr. Clifford Thomas who works at mt hope hospital and he is a very caring person and i know he would Communicate with his patients and share his emotions with them to show that he cares about his patients and his hands can do wonders god works through his hands as a surgeon so if you people want to make your comments go ahead but make shaw that your taking about the right doctor.

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