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Saturday 25 May 2019
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Augustus Long offers SFGH drugs, equipment for free

ALL the drugs, including medical equipment such as X-ray and treadmill machines, at Augustus Long Hospital could end up at San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH), depending on the outcome of discussions on Friday.

The discussions will be held between SFGH personnel headed by CEO Keith Mc Donald, and the new company, Heritage Petroleum Company Ltd. An official at Heritage told Newsday yesterday the company has offered SFGH all the drugs and equipment for free.

However, the medical records of the retirees and 3,500 oil workers officially retrenched last Friday remain under lock and key at Augustus Long, Beaumont Hill, Pointe-a-Pierre. Whether that issue will be discussed at Friday's meeting, the official could not say.

But an official at SFGH told Newsday yesterday that retirees and the retrenched workers have already begun to seek medical attention at the hospital on Independence Avenue, San Fernando.

Augustus Long officially closed its doors last Friday. The hospital served all the former workers' immediate families and retirees, who totalled approximately 17,000.

Mc Donald said, "We will be meeting on Friday to discuss this matter. As of now, no decision has been made."

Dr Anand Chatoorgoon, former medical director of SFGH, a consultant anaesthetist,, was one of several doctors who worked at Augustus Long. He said yesterday the hospital should have been shut down gradually..

Chatoorgoon said, "The retirees and former workers got accustomed to a certain level of service.

"They have no choice but to attend the SFGH which is already bursting at it seams. Now they'll have to wait days to get a bed. The waiting list for surgery is already long. It will be a rude awakening for them."

The former SFGH director said he hoped the Augustus Long nurses would be incorporated into the public health sector.

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