Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh is calling on Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh to say how many frontline workers in the healthcare system have tested positive for covid19, especially at the Port of Spain General Hospital (PoSGH).
He was responding, in a release, to statements made by TT Registered Nurses Association president Idi Stuart.
Speaking on the Morning Edition television talk show on Tuesday, Stuart said at least five nurses had tested positive for covid19 at the Northwest Regional Health Authority, with others in quarantine awaiting test results.
He said the association had been asking for continuous testing of frontline healthcare workers.
“Unfortunately that is not the protocol currently. You must have exposure, you must be showing symptoms for them to test you.
"We are asking for both staff and patients at the hospitals to be tested, as currently they are only being tested if they have to go for procedures.”
Speaking in his capacity as the Opposition’s shadow minister of labour, Indarsingh also called on the Health Minister to update the country on the distribution of protective personal equipment (PPE) and the use of the rapid testing kits "supposedly received by the Government.”
He wants to know, “Are these resources being used to effectively protect frontline workers? What has the Ministry of Health been doing for the family members of those testing positive for the virus? Has the ministry been testing their families, and provided counselling services in cases where such families must deal with one of its bread-winning members in quarantine?”
“Such inefficiency on the minister’s part makes us very concerned about the incoming covid19 vaccines, and whether the Government is capable of promptly and effectively distributing such.”
Indarsingh said government has still not provided an industrially safe environment for the nurses at the PoSGH and healthcare workers generally, a year into the pandemic.
He called on the minister to address the concerns of the Nurses’ Association, saying the safety of frontline personnel is critical to the overall safety of the country.