Families who feel their loved ones died because of negligent care at hospitals will now have their call for justice led by a medical complaints council, Tobago attorney Martin George announced yesterday.
The councilâ€™s intention is to raise the quality of healthcare for all citizens, George told reporters at his office in Bacolet, Tobago.â€śThere are many more cases of negligence than we could imagine and more and more people are coming forward to give their story so what we are doing is establishing a medical complaints council in Trinidad and Tobago. We are inviting all persons with medical negligence complaints to come forward, since the authorities are not doing it,â€ť said George, founder of the council. He is in talks with attorney Christlyn Moore and Public Services Association president Watson Duke to become members of the council. George represents two familiesâ€™ who claim medical negligence in two cases of maternal and infant deaths at Scarborough General Hospital. In October, 2014, CEPEP worker Leciana Mitchell-Sheppard, 35, and newborn baby boy Ajani died at the hospital, while Kai Duncanâ€™s baby, Harmony Hope, died in her womb while the 24-year-old was warded. The Tobago Regional Health Authority conducted an inquiry into the Sheppard deaths but is yet to release the report. â€śWhat has happened is that the Tobago Regional Health Authority by the defence it has filed has admitted liability for negligence and they have also said that having admitted liability for negligence, they see no reason to release the report, which has been the subject of much discussion and questioning by ourselves, the media and the public,â€ť George said. An inconsolable Kai Duncan, who was also present, told reporters legal action is the next course of action as to date she has not been contacted by health officials since last October. â€śI went there (hospital) a couple of times and is always a set of run around. â€śI just need closure and as a result I have now decided to take legal action because I realise nobody ent have time with me. If I is to get pregnant again, I not going back there,â€ť Duncan cried. In the Senate on Tuesday three senators spoke of medical negligence, which according to George, is a serious issue. â€śOur intention is that we must call the medical authority to account to the public of Tobago and also the wider society of Trinidad and Tobago for things that are happening. Because if one has regard to the front page of todayâ€™s (Wednesday) Newsday, which speaks of this matter at the San Fernando Hospital, where you have the mother saying my baby did not have to die, this is the baby that was delivered and then of course they are making allegations again of negligence, we have a serious problem here in Trinidad and Tobago,â€ť he said.
Extracted From: Trinidad & Tobago Newsday