Benschop calls for justice for family of Linden teen who died in childbirth

Relatives of the 17-year-old who died and lost her full-term baby recently while in the care of the  Linden Hospital Complex (LHC) were joined by activist Mark Benschop and his colleague Malcolm Harripaul in a brief demonstration in Linden yesterday as they called for justice for the family.

It was a four-person demonstration at the front of the LHC with two sisters-in-law accompanied by Benschop and Harripaul.

Malcolm Harripaul (left), Mark Benschop (second from left) and family members

The group attracted the attention of several persons including nurses, patients and passers-by. The reaction by those who were not part of the protest was mixed but the majority made supportive comments.

One said that it’s a shame that Lindeners didn’t come out in numbers to support the family. “Everything here now is politics. I had enough of dis place,” he said.

In an invited comment Benschop stressed that it was totally unacceptable for a mother to die at the hands of a doctor. “Back in the days we had midwives delivering babies, now we have mothers and babies dying in the hands of doctors!

That’s totally unacceptable, especially when they say we have a state-of-the-art hospital.”

Benschop said that having heard of the situation he thought that his presence in Linden was necessary to highlight the situation further, especially since he feels that the government’s state-of-the-art hospital is not reflecting what is advertised.

“Time and time over the years we have been hearing of mothers dying, dying because of neglect and nobody is looking into this situation and that’s why we are out here…”

The protesting group said that they would not rest until justice is served, demanding that the defaulter/s should have their licence terminated, be fired or otherwise disciplined.

Asked whether he had attempted to seek an audience with the LHC management, Benschop said, “No, because we think they would try to push things under the rug as always.”

He said that it is time that people get proper answers and possibly compensation.

Harripaul stressed that the values of the old days should be reintroduced in the health care system and urged that an inquiry be launched into the death of the young woman.

One of the sisters-in-law stressed that it was neglect on the part of the doctor that resulted in Tasya Joseph’s and her full-term baby’s death. According to the woman, at the time that the 17-year-old was admitted she was fully dilated and her water bag had already ruptured.

“They had her clinic card and she told them that she was sickle cell and yet they keep delaying the delivery and the baby was already full-term.”

She said that relatives are also perturbed by the fact that the lead doctor, Dr. Farouk Riyasat, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the hospital,  was not informed of the woman’s admission and condition. She noted that it was not until the eleventh hour when all hope was gone that Dr. Riyasat was summoned.

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