NCRHA denies UNC’s claims on doctors being transferred


MP For Cumuto/Manzanilla – Dr. Rai Ragbir – Photo by Sureash Cholai

NORTH Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) CEO Davlin Thomas on Thursday rejected allegations by UNC Cumuto/Manzanilla MP Dr Rai Ragbir that the transfer of senior doctors from the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility has put a strain on the parallel health care system.

Ragbir made the claim during a virtual news conference on Thursday. He also said this partly contributed to a state of emergency (SoE) being declared from midnight on May 15.

Thomas said, “The truth is that about three weeks ago, the medical chief of staff (at the Couva Hospital and Multi-Training Facility) mentioned to us that he needed to have staff at the Couva Hospital rotated through the wider system because they were approaching burnout….they need to rotate them to give them a rest.”

As a result, he said, “That’s it. We just rotated them and eventually we will rotate them back. We will put them back into normal health care continuum and then eventually, we will put them back into the system.”

He reiterated this was all done at the request of the medical chief of staff.

“He himself, we have also moved him through the cycle, through the rotation.

“There is no mystery. It’s just mischief now.”

He added, “We have to defend the resilience of the entire system and that’s the issue.”

Ragbir said Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh must “urgently and impartially” investigate the doctors’ transfers.

The UNC has their names, he said, but will not make their identities public out of fear of their being subjected to vicious personal attacks.

He claimed the situation had caused high occupancy rates in the parallel health care system and may have been a factor in Government’s declaring an SoE.

Ragbir warned that many people’s mental states are fragile because of the public health restrictions and now the additional SoE regulations. He said social isolation, loss of employment and other factors could cause people to become agoraphobic (agoraphobia is a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult). Ragbir also hinted people who are agoraphobic could develop suicidal tendencies.

He said all of this was the Government’s fault.

“The PNM leadership has failed and continues to fail.”

Notwithstanding this, Ragbir urged the public not to be complacent and to obey the public health regulations for their own safety and the safety of other people.

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