HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh on Tuesday praised staff at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) for saving the life of bank worker Rostan Mahabir, who was shot in San Fernando on May 14. Speaking at a diabetic retinopathy screening service ceremony at the San Fernando Teaching Hospital, Deyalsingh said, “l know Rostan since he was five years old.”
He said Rostan was a good friend of his son and they would play at each other’s homes as boys.
While there were calls for him to intervene when Mahabir was shot, Deyalsingh told his audience that he did “absolutely nothing...I made no calls. I asked for no favours.” His faith that public-sector doctors and nurses would “rise to the challenge and do what they had to do,” Deyalsingh continued, meant ministerial intervention was unnecessary.
Mahabir, a Scotiabank employee, was shot in the stomach during a robbery just outside the bank on Penitence Street, San Fernando. He had just parked in the Scotia car park, obliquely opposite City Hall, San Fernando, and was walking to his workplace when the gunman tried to grab his computer bag, which he had on his shoulder. Mahabir was taken by a woman in her car to the SFGH. He underwent a six hour to remove the bullet.
Deyalsingh also praised the hospital’s doctors for reattaching the hand of a woman after it was severed in a chopping incident. That incident occurred when the woman’s 15 year old son attacked her with a cutlass, after she took away his cell phone.The complaint was that the schoolboy was too preoccupied with the cellphone and was being derelict in his schoolwork.
“That is excellent work. That is public-sector work at its very, very best,” he said. He said this was why he continues to advocate that the public health sector needs to be more patient-centred.
Further evidence of improvements in the sector, Deyalsingh said, are demonstrated by the absence of any perinatal maternal deaths within the last five months. This is the second time this has has happened, the first occasion being last year. Deyalsingh praised the screening service for treating 20,000 eyes being screened to date at a cost of $2 million.