Men in Tobago who are suffering with prostate problems are not receiving proper medical care because there is no resident urologist at the Scarborough General Hospital and they must depend on doctors who come from Trinidad from time to time.
This is the contention of James Alexander, a member of the outpatient clinic at the hospital, who is pleading for a resident urologist for the Tobago hospital.
Saying that the medical service being provided to patients with prostate issues was unreliable and unfair, Alexander, in an interview with Newsday Tobago on Monday, said his next appointment to see a doctor was in October, but the wait was becoming frustrating for him. He said this was true for other men with prostate issues also.
“I only go to the doctor because I want help and I am not getting help so what I would recommend is that they have someone resident here to attend to us instead of waiting on the unreliable doctors from Trinidad. “It’s either they can’t get a plane to come up or they don’t want to come, or I believe they come when they want to because it’s Tobago and we must suffer when we have to depend on a service from Trinidad,” he said.
Alexander recounted instances when patients would arrive at the hospital for their appointment swith urine drainage bags and catheter attached to their bladder, just to be told the doctor was unable to attend to them.
“When the doctor arrives, they only see a few patients and leave by 1 o’clock, so you don’t get properly attended to because they have to hustle back to Trinidad. I have been taking treatment since in the old Scarborough Hospital at the Forth and things remain the same,” he said.
“Tobago have a lot of men who suffer with prostate problems and when we are given an appointment to see the doctor coming from Trinidad at the hospital, we are told the doctor is unable to make it on that day.
“As for me I was given an appointment at least four times last year and every time I go there is no doctor, so I have to go back home with the problem,” he said.
“It is very hard for me as a man with prostate problems to go through all this and given the length between the appointments, it too far and when the time finally reaches, there is no one there to attend to you. Tobago men with prostate problems have a lot of things to go through right now,” he added.
Alexander, who said he has been a member of the outpatient clinic at the hospital for the last six years, also complained about the quality of his medication. He said the medication was ineffective but his complaints about this was being ignored by the doctor.
“I told the doctor that he hasn’t given me anything for this problem. I went back to him and he gave me the same thing I was using for years, so he hadn’t given me anything for the present problem I have. Now it’s like I have to help myself and these herbalists charging so much money because they know problems such as mine are life and death,” he said.
Alexander said his problem was not severe, but he fears if it was not properly treated, it would worsen.
Calls to Health Secretary Dr Agatha Carrington, Secretary went unanswered. However, at a post Executive Council media briefing two weeks ago, Carrington told reporters that men’s health, with a focus on health promotion and disease prevention, was currently one of the Division’s goals.