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Tuesday 16 July 2019
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Letters to the Editor

Tobago needs haematologist

THE EDITOR: Last month my son was scheduled for his first haematology appointment at the Haematology Clinic of the Scarborough General Hospital. We left home around 5.30 am and got there 15 minutes later. We took a number and waited.

As time went by, I kept seeking answers from the clinic nurse about when my son would be seen. At noon, I asked whether he would be seen at all that day. At that point there were nine patients ahead of my son.

I was told the haematologist would be leaving for Trinidad at 3 pm and was advised to apply for another clinic date as it was unlikely my son would be seen that day. This was disturbing news as my son had to miss school and I work.

I was told by patients that a haematologist comes from Trinidad on Fridays to see patients who may be suffering with blood disorders. She is 75 years old and operates at a very slow paste.

The patients pointed out that they have to leave home as early as 3 am in an attempt to secure an early spot at the clinic. And they have been going through this ordeal for many years with their complaints falling on deaf ears.

To add insult to injury, the waiting area was very cold and it is unhealthy for my son, who has sickle cell disease, to remain in cold environments for prolonged periods as this can lead to severe pain.

This situation is unacceptable and cannot continue. I am calling on the relevant authorities to ungently provide relief. It is high time we get an another haematologist in Tobago or a doctor who can work along with the lone haematologist in an effort to speed up the process. We cannot continue going backwards with our healthcare system. The health of patients, especially little children, is being compromised.

We always say that children are our future, but if we don’t take care of them now, then we would never have a future to look forward to. This is a matter of grave concern and must be rectified promptly.

AMINA JAMES, Tobago

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