Trinidad and Tobago health minister shows a lack of leadership and mismanagement

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Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh

Dear Sir:

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh is guilty of gross misrepresentation and extreme recklessness in his distortion of my statements made in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, December 11, with respect to the choice which must be given to pregnant patients for them to decide whether to accept or decline the administration of the influenza vaccine (professional ethics).

Deyalsingh’s statement is typical of his irresponsible, lack of leadership and mismanagement in which there are serious daily concerns of ever-increasing morbidity and mortality emanating from the worsening public health sector.

In the Senate on Wednesday, and in my absence, he gave a blatantly false interpretation of the question asked of him and my statement with respect to the existing controversy found widely in the medical scientific literature on the administration of vaccines for children and pregnant patients.

(See Hansard recording of Wednesday, December 11, 2019.  http://www.ttparliament.org/hansards/hh20191211.pdf)

Deyalsingh, who is a pharmacist, should tell the country where his lobbying is coming from, whether the local representatives for the vaccines or the manufacturers themselves.

Caribbean News Global LETTERS-350-250 Trinidad and Tobago health minister shows a lack of leadership and mismanagement

It is regrettable that, in his characteristic attempt to always score cheap political points when pressed fully for answers, he sought to cast serious aspersions on my integrity and professionalism as a doctor for 45 years, a gynaecologist for 39 years and a gynae-cancer specialist for 31 years.

He must know that my medical education, training, and dedicated work in my field have extended through four Universities, namely UWI Medical School (undergraduate), University of London, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Toronto, the latter as a visiting assistant professor (postgraduate).

Deyalsingh’s continued shameful attempt to misrepresent me in both Houses of Parliament and to impune my professional competence is unacceptable and his behaviour deplorable.

While scores of citizens have been unfortunately dying from preventable complications of the H1N1 virus the minister sits idly by with ole talk, without implementing the very much needed urgent policies and procedures for the management of these patients in the public health institutions, and must cease ascribing their deaths to the fact that most of them dying are East Indians, who are diabetic and with associated morbid conditions, when the entire population is at serious risk.

Even at this Christmas time, patients are on trollies and chairs lining the corridors at public medical institutions awaiting attention, often for days.

There is also an ongoing lack of pharmaceuticals and supplies, extremely long waiting times at clinics and basic surgical procedures, a testament to his extremely weak leadership and incompetence.

Deyalsingh should be reminded of his priorities which should be immediate and urgent attention to the many problems plaguing the collapsed health sector, or else resign or be removed as minister of health.

Tim Gopeesingh, MP, Caroni East

Former Minister of Education

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