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Thursday 23 May 2019
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Bus crash victim denies NCRHA claim of ‘world-class’ treatment

THE North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) says Chaguanas bus accident victim Khemraj Ramgohan received world-class care at the Mt Hope hospital, where he was admitted after a fatal February 5 highway crash.

But Ramgohan not only denied that claim yesterday, but said the NCRHA had called to complain that he had embarrassed the authority.

Reacting to articles in which Ramgohan spoke to Newsday about receiving poor treatment at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC), the NCRHA said it was disappointed that “no real effort was made to obtain the facts about the condition of the patient and level of care delivered.”

In a statement, the NCRHA said Ramgohan arrived at the Accident and Emergency department at 1.12 pm on Tuesday (February 5) and within six minutes was seen by a senior registrar and several specialist medical teams in the trauma unit.

“By 1.20pm he had received an x-ray, blood was drawn for tests, he was medicated, and CT scan was obtained the same day. At 4.15 pm he was again reviewed by our specialist surgery team and the eye surgery unit. He remained under observation overnight and was reviewed at 8.40 am on Wednesday.”

The statement, from NCRHA corporate communications manager Peter Neptune, said Ramgohan was seen by specialists from ophthalmology, ENT and general surgery and had CT scans on his head, abdomen and pelvis.

“We also conducted blood tests to determine kidney function, blood count, electrolytes, blood gases and blood surgar levels to determine his responses to our care.”

The NCRHA said during his stay Ramgohan was under the close care of a senior specialist surgeon who ensured his recovery was progressing according to schedule. It said it was advised that Ramgohan was appreciative of the care and expressed this sentiment to staff.

“After receiving care from our trauma and clinical teams, he was discharged to continue his healing at home," it ended.

But Ramgohan said he was poorly treated and was sent home even though he was suffering a lot of pain and weakness and his eyes were still swollen shut. He said he was not given any medication or prescription, nor a referral to join the eye clinic. His request to be transferred to the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) was denied, he said, but on his way to his Rousillac Village home last Friday, he checked himself into the SFGH and was kept overnight and treated.

Ramgohan said he was discharged from the SFGH on Saturday with a prescription, a letter to join the ENT clinic and a referral to have his dressing done at the La Brea Health facility.

He said an officer from the NCRHA contacted him yesterday to berate him for what he told this newspaper.

"He did not even sympathise with me, but was asking me all kind of stupid questions about why I embarrassed them.

"I told him about the inhumane treatment I received, how I was discharged with an IV still attached over my eye.

"He said this is not what he heard. He promised to investigate and get back to me.”

Ramgohan, 62, was one of 48 passengers travelling in a Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) bus when a Blue Waters delivery truck was hit by a three-ton dump truck and crashed into the bus. Two passengers, Tara Baboolal of Penal and Judy Marcia Reid of Diego Martin, died in the accident.

Ramgohan was sitting just in front of Baboolal. He said he was knocked unconscious but witnessed horrifying scenes of death and body parts strewn about before he blacked out.

“Every night I keep jumping up and bawling because I cannot get those images out of my head. I keep reliving it over and over.”

Ramgohan said he has consulted a lawyer, since as to date no one from the PTSC has contacted him. Nor have the Chaguanas police, who are investigating the accident, taken a statement from him.

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