By Stephen Kangal
March 23, 2008
Thank 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.