QUESTIONING whether food prepared at the Point Fortin hospital is fit for human consumption, general secretary of the Unified Health Sector Workers’ Union (UHSWU) Rhea St John-Acosta is threatening to shut down the kitchen.
On Thursday, staff told Newsday that flies and pigeons infest the kitchen where meals were prepared for patients. The staff said a corbeau had once flown into the kitchen while a meal was being prepared and had to be chased with a broom.
Speaking to the Sunday Newsday yesterday, St John-Acosta said it was only when staff threatened to walk off the job earlier in the week over a snake infestation that anything was done to curb the problem. Nurses at the hospital had revealed that in the past six weeks, seven snakes were found in different areas, including on the maternity ward of the hospital.
John-Acosta said staff had been complaining about the birds and flies invading the kitchen for almost a year and they have been asking for three screen doors to be installed.
“The food can’t be safe for people to eat and the thing with the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) is that complaining makes no sense once the work is getting done. In order for some change to be made, work has to stop.”
She said the public also needed to be sensitised about the dangers they could face from eating the food prepared at the Point Fortin hospital.
“People need to be sensitised, (to know) that the food could have feathers and pigeon droppings. Those conditions are not sanitary for food that people consume.”
She said those conditions were unique to Point Fortin.
“The Point Fortin hospital is very dilapidated, unsanitary and it looks like an abandoned house…that entire building needs to be abandoned, it is in a mess.”
She said the UHSWU would meet with employees in the coming days to discuss their way forward.
The Sunday Newsday contacted Dr Albert Persad, acting chief executive officer at the SWRHA who promised to look into the complaints made by staff.