Police Social and Welfare Association president Insp Michael Seales has tipped his hat to the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), which has apologised to three injured officers who were denied care at the Couva District Hospital last Sunday.
Three officers were injured during the arrest of two men at Dow Village, California, and sought treatment at the facility. However, WPC Anisa Ali and PCs Kevon Vialva and Mark Ramkalawan of the Couva Police Station were refused treatment because they did not have a medical record card.
The officers, who were subsequently treated at the Chaguanas District Health Facility, also complained about the uncaring behaviour of health care professionals.
Seales called for an immediate investigation, saying he was appalled that officers injured on duty were turned away by a public medical institution.
On Friday, the SWRHA’s communications department issued a statement saying, “We wish to extend an apology to TTPS, as well as the three police officers for any misunderstanding and inconvenience caused as a result. We are currently engaged in discussions with the officers at the Couva Police Station to finalise our report on the investigation and appropriate action will be taken.”
Contacted yesterday, Seales said he accepted the apology on behalf of the officers.
“This is the way to go. What institutions and all organisations have to understand is that when we are wrong, we say we are wrong. We apologise and allow the apology to kick in and start to build relationships.”
Seales said he would like to partner with the health authority to make things better for his members who may need medical treatment. “I welcome the apology from the SWRHA and say hats off to them. They have renewed my hope in institutions once more.”
Seales also welcomed the SWRHA’s promise to take appropriate action if anyone was found culpable by its investigation.
The SWRHA explained it was not the region’s policy to deny access to any client seeking attention at any one of its healthcare facilities, but said the police left before completing the mandatory triage process.
The SWRHA said around 3.40 am on April 15, the three officers sought access at the emergency department.
As is customary, the SWRHA said, at the start of the triage process, especially for repeat clients, staff asked the purpose of the visit and whether one of the officers had an emergency department registration card.