Trinidad health minister’s son nearly died after burst appendix was misdiagnosed

Trinidad Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh.

(Trinidad Newsday) HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh disclosed that his son Brandon could have died because a doctor in a private medical institution could not diagnose that he had a ruptured appendix.

He made this disclosure while calling on the media to report stories about the health sector “based on facts and not based on fiction.” Speaking at Mt Hope Women’s Hospital, Deyalsingh pointed to his abdomen and said, “My son went to a private institution about two months ago with severe pain here.”

He said a doctor told his son to take some medication and go home. Deyalsingh said because his son’s wife is a doctor, “she told the physician ‘no something is wrong’.” He said, “My son had a ruptured appendix which was not picked up in a private institution.”

Deyalsingh said if this situation happened in a public medical institution, some sections of the media would have reported “Hospital sends patient home to die.” He explained, “When we bash systems without having the facts, you’re not doing the system any good.”


Deyalsingh told reporters, “Many times patients come to you with a story that is not factually based and you all run with it, without getting the facts.” He recalled the Guardian newspaper running a front page story about an under-19 cricketer who claimed he could not get blood or surgery.

“The Guardian newspaper didn’t have the courtesy to check with North Central RHA (NCRHA) to verify the story but the Guardian ran with that story on the front page and the whole thing was false,” a disgusted Deyalsingh said.

Saying that story had done “tremendous damage to the NCRHA,” Deyalsingh said the cricketer later admitted “to scamming the system to get money”, and, “we did not even get an apology.”

Recalling another story about an alleged malaria outbreak in Cedros, Deyalsingh said, “Guardian again…quoting the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and nobody spoke to the CMO.”

He added, “Today is not a day for bashing but it grieves me when we run with stories that have no factual basis and you destroy for no reason, the spirit that we are trying to build up in the public health care system.”

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