Overhaul the health system

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh - SUREASH CHOLAI
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh - SUREASH CHOLAI

THE EDITOR: On December 16 last year, I posted the following on Facebook: “Under this harden administration, without apology, the health administration has crashed. We the people have to intervene...”

At this time TT is going through the throes of the covid19 pandemic while we are faced with the consequences of the worst state of unhealthiness we have had for a long time. Covid19 is only one of our health problems.

Citizens must demand that the health administration pays very critical attention to the comorbidities which lie behind every death during the covid19 pandemic. After all, they form part of every report in the daily Ministry of Health conferences.

Comorbidities make up a group of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which include cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancers, chronic lower respiratory diseases, sickle cell anaemia and mental illness, all of which are preventable or sometimes remediable.

Most people know the names of these disorders, but can we say with certainty that there is public knowledge about how we may prevent or mitigate such diseases? Compared with the programmes about covid19 is there anything we can identify in scale with any one of these problems. Are there daily statements?

We the citizens have to take responsibility for our health. My recommendations could be taken altogether or individually. Just as many citizens have turned to social media for information, so too we can use the various platforms to gain credible knowledge on which we may be able to make sensible judgments.

We should visit any health centre where there is usually written information in the form of pamphlets from the Ministry of Health. And we have to read them, for heaven’s sake!

We have to insist on regular visits from health personnel that we used to have previously, people like public health inspectors (sanitary inspectors) and district nurses.

In addition, we can adjust our daily routines to incorporate more exercise, better diet and the avoidance of stress.

Once the schools are open, we should lobby for a regime of physical education teachers who will not only train students for sports, but will able to observe, alongside the other teachers, the early signs of physical problems among students. We could also bring back subjects like hygiene.

Private and state sector companies should enhance their staffs’ capabilities by running their own programmes, possibly by offering special incentives. Likewise, it would be good if the labour unions pay attention beyond the traditional struggle for wages and benefits.

If there is no national awareness of the effect of NCDs, we will have problems. If there is no effective programme of preventative medicine, we will continue to have problems.

If we do not look out for ourselves as well as our neighbours, we cannot overhaul the mess in which we are now.


Mt Lambert


"Overhaul the health system"

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