President Bharrat Jagdeo has ordered a probe into the treatment that the late Minister Dr Desrey Fox received at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) as he does not understand how she died after sustaining some fractures and is not satisfied with the initial report from the hospital.
The President told reporters yesterday at a press conference held at his Shiv Chanderpaul Drive office that he would be saying more on the issue when his administration receives the full report and examines it.
“I have asked for a full investigation as to the circumstances of her passing,” the President said. “I am yet to see that report. I gather that an oral presentation was made to the Minister of Health [Dr Leslie Ramsammy] and I am not satisfied with that. I need to see a comprehensive report and I have raised this at the Cabinet on Tuesday and once we examine that report then you would hear further from the government.
“It is something that I want answered. I was told that she was suffering from fractures. How do you go from that to dying? Clearly there has to be some explanation from that assessment …fractures, nothing serious…”
The President’s instructions come on the heels of a call made by Opposition Leader Robert Corbin last week for Guyanese to be told what caused the death of the Minister in the Ministry of Education. He questioned whether Fox died as a result of the injuries sustained during the accident or whether “there were any intervening events such as professional negligence at the Georgetown Hospital that contributed to her sudden death.”
Corbin’s concerns were swiftly dismissed by Dr Ramsammy, who in response had said that status did not determine the treatment offered by the hospital and had also expressed satisfaction with the hospital whose staff he said acted in a manner appropriate for the injuries.
The minister had asserted that it would be difficult for anyone to make a case that the hospital was not providing round-the-clock care to Fox, as consultants and other caregivers were present at all times during Fox’s stay at the hospital and until her death. “…All investigations necessary and available in Guyana were done and clinical decisions were based on the results of these investigations. Preliminary diagnosis was made and this preliminary diagnosis was added to as the results of new investigations became available,” the minister had stated. He further said that the post-mortem examination conducted confirmed that there was no evidence to suggest negligence on the part of the hospital staff.
Fox was admitted to the GPH on December 8 after she was tossed through the rear windscreen of her car following a three-vehicle smash-up in the city. A female passenger, Andrea De Santos and a two-year-old child, Carlos Fox, who were also travelling in Fox’s car, were also admitted to the GPH. The minister was admitted to the High Dependency Unit of the hospital and was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit on December 11, hours before she succumbed to her injuries.
Meanwhile, speaking about his fallen colleague President Jagdeo said: “She was a dear friend and colleague. We campaigned together. We worked together we shared many of the ideals that we want for our country and it is a pity that just when she was blossoming and making the kind of contribution that she prepared all of her life to make to our country that she would pass away in such tragic circumstances.”