Foreign Ministry concerned at denial of treatment for Guyanese in T&T
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today said it is deeply concerned over the reported incident in which a Guyanese national was refused emergency medical attention at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex and later succumbed while being taken to another medical institution.
The Trinidad Guardian on Friday reported that 35-year-old Guyanese national Jeetindra Sookram died of a suspected heart attack an hour after he was denied treatment there because he was not a T&T citizen.
Sookram was then rushed to the Charlieville Medical Centre Ltd for treatment, but died in the back seat of a Nissan Navarra in the private clinic’s Caroni Savannah Road, Chaguanas car park on Thursday. Doctors there said his symptoms suggested he suffered a massive heart attack, as he had complained about severe chest pains.
“I think it is negligence that caused him to not have a chance. I can’t understand how tourists can come into this country and get treated like this,” Sookram’s partner, Vidya Baichu, told the T&T Guardian on Friday. Baichu and Sookram, a farmer from the Guyanese island of Wakenaam, had been on a two-week vacation here and was staying at their friend Melissa Deosaran’s Warren Road, Cunupia home.
The Honorary Consul General of Guyana in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Ernie Ross has requested the Minister of Health, the Honourable Fuad Khan to investigate this report, a release from the Ministry today said. The Minister has assured that the matter is already under investigation and has reaffirmed the principle that no one should ever be refused emergency medical attention at any hospital, the released.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it will be aggressively pursuing the matter with the authorities of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is requesting that the family members of the deceased make contact with Ross at the Guyana Consulate at 16 Gray Street, St Clair, Port of Spain or on telephone number 868-622-2913.
Chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority, Shehenaz Mohammed, has since instructed CEO Kumar Boodram to check the roster to identify which workers were on duty when the incident occurred. Mohammed said on Friday that Sookram’s family has been asked to provide the RHA with details of the incident, as an investigation has been launched. The incident comes weeks after baby Simeon Cottle’s death five hours after his mother, Quelly Ann Cottle, underwent a C-section at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital.
Telling of the tragedy while waiting outside the San Fernando mortuary yesterday, Baichu said they were talking at Deosaran’s Central workplace around 7.30 am when he complained of a slight pain. Deosaran had taken them there because she had to drop something off. Baichu said she gave Sookram two painkillers, believing he may have been tired from their travelling here, but it did not help.
“He could not sit and he could not stand because the pain was getting to him more. It kept getting worse so we took him to the hospital (EWMSC),” Baichu said. “When we got there, I went in with him and they took him straight to the place where they took blood and did tests. “When I went to register him now, they asked for ID and I gave them his passport. They told me he is not a Trinidadian resident and so all the services, we would have to pay for it.