Black Immigrant Daily News
Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh –
COUVA South MP Rudranath Indarsingh on Friday chided the Government’s performance in running the public health system, claiming a neglect of nurses and an inadequate provision of dialysis services to kidney patients.
He was speaking in the debate on an opposition private motion by Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe alleging the Government’s failure to deliver on its health mandate.
Accusing the Government of “cheap politics and propaganda,” Indarsingh rebuffed Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi’s earlier criticism of Bodoe’s speech as “anaemic” by saying Al-Rawi himself had seemed to be “comatose and in the ICU unit.” Indarsingh said while the Government has so far spent about $30 billion on health care in the past seven-eight years, a recent foreign travel advisory had warned visitors to TT to ensure they had sufficient private funds to afford any emergency medical treatment owing to alleged shortfalls in the public health service.
“Where’s the data on waiting lists?” Indarsingh asked, as he claimed patients were waiting two-three years to get surgery in public hospitals.
“The politicking is enough. Get on with the job,” he urged Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh.
Indarsingh lamented 4,200 deaths during the covid19 pandemic, which he said it was the Opposition’s duty to highlight in serving as “the voice for the voiceless.” Recalling the Government’s promise to offer more dialysis services nationwide, Indarsingh said they could not say where the promised dialysis centres would be located.
He alleged that existing dialysis units such as at San Fernando General Hospital were in shambles. He dubbed the provision of services to renal patients as “a sad state of affairs.”
Indarsingh said the Government would never have had the vision to have built the new hospitals at Couva, Arima and Point Fortin, which he attributed to the vision of former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, now Opposition Leader. He questioned how many jobs had the Government created in the public health service in the past six years, and claimed 700-800 young doctors were now seeking employment. Correspondingly, out of 1,134 established posts at Arima Hospital only 757 were filled, while at the Point Fortin Hospital had only 300 out of 482 posts were filled.
“Nurses are leaving TT by the thousands,” he claimed, accusing the Government of failing to act to provide them with security of tenure and a pension plan. He said nurses had been given a covid19 gratuity but claimed that this sum had been taxed. “They gave an allowance and taxed it, take back half the gift.”
Indarsingh alleged the Government had cut its CDAP budget from $670 million in 2015 to $241 million in 2023.
“That’s why the ordinary citizen can’t get quality drugs,” he claimed.
“The Government’s incompetence and negligence resulted in thousands of deaths, not only from covid but diabetes, hypertension and cancer.”