TOBAGO House of Assembly (THA) Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family Development, Dr Agatha Carrington has responded to calls by Minority Councillor Dr Faith BYisrael to fix the healthcare system on the island “once and for all.”
Speaking during the Minority Council’s media briefing in Scarborough on Tuesday, BYisrael issued a call to Carrington and Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles to fix the healthcare system. BYisrael spoke about a several of the imaging machines at the Scarborough hospital that are non-functional including x-ray machines, MRI machines, CT scans and ultrasound machines.
She also said the hospital lacks chemicals that are needed for tests, as several of the hospital’s service providers are owed money. Management of the hospital, she said, seems to have broken down as several senior managers were sent on administrative leave on March 20.
Responding to questions sent via email on Thursday, Carrington said proper care continues to be provided.
“Persons can continue to access care at the Scarborough general hospital with the confidence that their health and well-being will continue to be treated as paramount. Despite challenges, the (Tobago Regional Health) Authority continues to provide proper care for clients. In cases where urgent care is required but cannot be provided at the Scarborough General Hospital, the authority facilitates and covers the cost of accommodating such clients at other health institutions.”
She admitted the breakdown of the CT scanner and x-ray machine have caused some challenges to doctors and patients.
“The authority assures members of the public that its technical personnel are working assiduously to rectify the malfunction issues with these machines. Consequently, urgent cases that require CT scans are outsourced, and urgent cases that require x-rays are done utilising a portable x-ray machine, which is stationed at the hospital.” The authority has also had to outsource reagents to do biomedical tests.
“The authority is pleased to inform that reagents have been received, and an additional stock is due to be received within the upcoming days.
“I am not aware that the figure owed to suppliers for reagents is $10 million,” Carrington said.
She also said the senior managers were sent on administrative leave to facilitate a payroll audit which is still ongoing.