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FINALLY

New Scarborough Hospital commissioned

By by elizabeth williams & ADAMSON CHARLES

Finally, the people of Tobago could now breathe a collective sigh of relief with the official opening of the new Scarborough General Hospital at Signal Hill last Wednesday.

The 100 bed facility had officially begun operations two days earlier with CT Scans and other services being offered to patients. Despite Wednesday's opening, it would take at least six months before the full operations of the hospital are transferred from the present facility to the new one at Signal Hill.

It was in 2003, when the then Prime Minister Patrick Manning accompanied by his then Planning Minister Keith Rowley and Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Orville London turned the sod to start the construction of the new hospital.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) funded project to the tune of $135 million was at the time given a two-year construction period by the Emile Elias' NH International Construction Limited. This meant that since 2005, a THA election year, Tobagonians have been expecting the new hospital. However, the project was marked by numerous delays and controversies including an allegation that material from the construction project site were being siphoned to another project in Mason Hall, Tobago. Meanwhile, the hospital project was undergoing some radical changes to the original designs.

This provided the necessary leverage for variations and cost overruns by the contractors. Mired in controversy, NH sought to be disengaged from the overdue project. This was followed by a bitter arbitration process that caused the project to remain at a standstill for about 18 months. A new contract was awarded to China Railway Construction Limited, who successfully completed the project.

The Scarborough Hospital project featured prominently during the highly charged political campaign leading up the May 2010 general elections. Then Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissesser slammed the then ruling PNM government for the pain and suffering it had put Tobagonians under for the non-delivery of the new hospital. She promised then, that if her government was put in power, the hospital would be delivered to the people of Tobago.

At the Commissioning event, all of the leading politicians in Tobago turned out for the historic event. Also in attendance were newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Tobago Regional Health Authority, Paula Chester-Cumberbatch and former Minister of Health Jerry Narrace. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesar arrived at approximately 2:20 pm and was greeted by Health Minister Dr. Fuad Khan and Chief Secretary of Tobago Orville London.

While bringing remarks, Tobago West Representative Dr Delmon Baker told the Large Audience, which included the Chinese Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Ambassador Yang Youming that: "Today marks a giant step in the right direction." Baker, who is a medical doctor, said the facility is open to all Tobagonians and he expects a greater degree of service.

Secretary of Health and Social Services Claudia Groome-Duke said the commissioning of the hospital sets a new benchmark for health care in Tobago.

She said the THA, TRHA and Ministry of Health all worked together to make the event a success. She added that the THA would continue to strive for better health care services in Tobago with the Scarborough hospital as well as upgraded health care centres across the island.

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editor said on Friday, Apr 20 at 4:01 PM

notice when the article about TOBAGO getting help from india started getting negative comments it was removed right away but other hateful garbage stays on forever i wonder if indjuns controll this paper

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editor said on Friday, Apr 20 at 3:56 PM

this cesspool of a so called newspaper now needs more room for its cesssss this paper needs to dig deeper for more cesssss space nothing has changed just that another new paper is on its way

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little island mentality said on Thursday, Apr 19 at 7:09 PM

to the "concerned" if the Nigerian doctors are not real doctors then the Tobagonians that hired them must be living in the dark ages for not recognising that.Are you still brearing grudge about the slave trade?

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Concerned said on Thursday, Apr 19 at 12:37 PM

I am so happy there is a new hospital in Tobago, does that mean that the workers will do their best to be a little more polite to the patient and their families. I am not saying they are all bad. But please try

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concerned said on Thursday, Apr 19 at 12:04 PM

Those Nigerian doctors are not real doctors. Yes thet went to med school for a while and could not pass their exams, so what they do is drop out and pay alarge sum of money for a diploma and they are good to go.I am talking from experience. I had a Nigerian friend who had a friend who couldn't pass his exam at all in university. so he took hi=s friend id #, went and do the test for his friend

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little island mentality said on Thursday, Apr 19 at 12:44 AM

if there are square pegs in round holes as a certain blogger said then the purge should start with the current MEDICAL CHIEF OF STAFF of the hospital who was not even qualified to be in that position.His only qualification was:"I am from Tobago."Is he also an African doctor whose certificate needs to be checked?

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Anonymous said on Tuesday, Apr 17 at 11:54 AM

d mouse,are you going to keep us hanging.

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the virginian said on Saturday, Apr 14 at 2:32 PM

D Mouse,yes that's true,it's better to have questions than answers for if you have questions,it means that you know,or have an idea of,what you don't know.Not knowning what you don't know or not having an idea of what you don't know is one of mankind's most critical problems. I hope your professor wasn't an economics professor since monetary economics was my undergraduate minor and I've always considered that discipline the most imprecise and dismal of all the sciences.We're certainly not going to argue about that now.Just my feeling,maybe a bad one. Talk to you later.

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Bagogal said on Saturday, Apr 14 at 8:10 AM

Anonymous, I do not know where and in which modern system you work. Where I work, the situations you described is called Medical Malpractice and there is a system in place to deal with these problems. People are held accountable for mistakes, bad outcomes and and wrong doings. It's a big deal when things happen. I believe that Medical and Nursing staff in T&T are well Trained, however application and attitudes are the problem. Customer service is a huge problem.

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Anonymous said on Saturday, Apr 14 at 6:05 AM

D-MOUSE.probably because we can evaluate a situation more correctly....If not please tell us why.

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D Mouse said on Friday, Apr 13 at 4:59 PM

Huh...My Professor once told me it's better to have questions than answer !...Anybody want to guess why ?

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Batchak said on Friday, Apr 13 at 3:32 PM

...At least I read what i write... some people don't !

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Anonymous said on Thursday, Apr 12 at 7:18 PM

When i was on my death bed,It was a Tobagonian born doctor who saved my life...When my daughter was sick..it was Tobagonian born nurses who took good care of her..My experience has always beign positive...I certainly do not want to take away from the fact that too many unnessary causualties are taking place in Tobago...Honestly from experience i would choose A born Tobagonian Doctor any day..Because unlike the modern world..They cannot buy a certificate..So Tobago always remember who you are,where you come from..For if you were the best once,you can still be the best in the future.

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monkey see monkey do said on Thursday, Apr 12 at 7:17 PM

I see you have tried your own tribal medicine,d mouse

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D Mouse said on Thursday, Apr 12 at 1:13 PM

Positive Side Note: Recently discoverd Mushrooms that eat Polycabonate Plastics. Another mushroom that produces a glue that can replace styrofoam. That is ALL !!!

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Anonymous said on Thursday, Apr 12 at 11:50 AM

to ignoranr last blogger, if I had a choice of TNT medicine or modern , guess who would go with, you do not know of what you speak, so I hope you are exposed to TnT medical system, slay a goat and drink the blood idiot

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Anonymous said on Thursday, Apr 12 at 9:28 AM

I know in Europe,doctors giving patience medicine,which brings fought handikapp children..I know in the modern system of pregnant women having their private parts ripped apart during childbirth. this is really true...I know of doctors fundelling their patients.people have to put there feaces in viles for observation and so many more of the so called modern world....Tell me in which way is the modern world better than Tobago.

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Anonymous said on Wednesday, Apr 11 at 11:16 PM

I am willing to come back and help out.What'next?

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point of no return said on Wednesday, Apr 11 at 8:45 PM

Believe me if nurses are sent to the fully developed countries to learn the ways of modern nursing, they will not return to Tobago, you are light years away fro good nursing care, first lesson wash you hands

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Bagogal said on Tuesday, Apr 10 at 9:33 PM

It will be wonderful if Tobago professionals who live abroad return home and contribute to the development and improvement of healthcare in Tobago. I know of people who returned home, they were not welcome. They did not last long in the system. The local staff apparently felt threatened. In order for that to work, locals need to understand that foreign workers have a lot of to contribute, and foreign people Need to understand that you cannot force change on those who do not want it. Therefore if the local healthcare professionals think that improvement is needed, they have to be prepared to work together with foreign people returning home. It can be done. Also I think that the ministry can send nurses abroad on fellowships with the goal of returning home to improve the system.

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RJ said on Tuesday, Apr 10 at 9:54 AM

I really cannot believe that the hospital is only a 100 bed hospital!!! All that money for 100 beds. This is a big joke!!!This is just about 5 wards with 20 patients each for the whole island!!! We may still need to keep the previous hospital open for patient overflow. What about health tourism??? People wake-up we are sleeping. It appears that about $1,000000.00 was spent for each bed. I will really like to see the gold and diamond plated beds with the latest technology.

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Anonymous said on Tuesday, Apr 10 at 9:00 AM

that new hospital is only politics the biulding look nice and they going up there with d same old attitude... no proper stystem inplace to operationilzed the hospital. get ri od the trha they are like a bad toothach in the system

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USA BAGO said on Tuesday, Apr 10 at 12:00 AM

I still going foreign when I need serious medical attention... why ? because I could sue somebody if they treat me bad and kill me !

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little island mentality said on Monday, Apr 9 at 10:58 PM

it is here in tobago that individuals dump their parents who had surgery in the hospital for weeks and come to take them home only after the social worker threatened to stop the pensions being collected by them.what of those who bring their old parents to the A&E for them to be admitted so that they could have no disturbance while liming and come to take them home after the weekend?this is absurd in most parts of the world!

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little island mentality said on Monday, Apr 9 at 10:44 PM

TRASH not teash

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little island mentality said on Monday, Apr 9 at 10:33 PM

how many tobagonians are really willing to go and spend time studying medicine and allied courses?why castigating those helping keep your health care system afloat?why are most tobago medical professionals abroad unwilling to come back to tolerate your teash?if those foreigners leave sure you will leave this forum and come and take up those positions and sink it.i'm sure the lesser the number of people who visit the A&E for flimsy reasons ranging from "being bitten by a rat 1yr ago" to requesting for sick leaves to dodge work the better for those who really need medical attention.

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little island mentality said on Monday, Apr 9 at 10:20 PM

To ELLEN,I am sure you are one of those who go to the A&E to look for what to come and vomit in this forum.It is only in Tobago that there is no natural death.Once a patient comes to the hospital and dies after 1 million years the death is attributed to the last visit to the hospital.

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James said on Monday, Apr 9 at 6:37 PM

Over the weekend I visited one of my friends who lives abroad. She complained about poor service in Trinidad. She said it's as if the word efficiency is not in the vocabulary.Reading the comments it's clear that efficiency and quality customer service must characterise operations at the new hospital.

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BYE BYE said on Monday, Apr 9 at 5:04 PM

All tobagan medical staff ,return to tobago, do the right thing,help your own

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T&T in Cda said on Monday, Apr 9 at 3:15 PM

Congratulations to my fellow Tobagonians. There is a new hospital. Now we need people who know what they are supposed to do. Stop the guessing game when it comes to peoples health. Please teach your staff how to talk to the patients, if they weren't sick they will not be there. i am tired of seeing and hearing people been treated like pigs and please don't steel the supplies and keep it clean. Please be proud of what you have. Now go and make us proud.

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Anonymous said on Monday, Apr 9 at 12:53 PM

it is truly sad to see these comments.Is there no one with a good experience from this hospital and it"s staff?

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CONCERN CITIZEN said on Sunday, Apr 8 at 11:40 PM

Bagogal; Customer service continuous training is required throughout Tobago.

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ELLEN said on Sunday, Apr 8 at 11:51 AM

I WILL ALWAYS CONTINUE TO SAY THOSE FOREIGN DOCTORS ESP. THE NIGERIANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE UNACCOUNTED DEATHS OF PATIENTS. A WORKER THERE SAID HE SAW ONE OF THEM DOING HIS SIMMI DIMMI OVER A PATIENT IN COUPLE MINUTES THE PERSON DIED. WHAT ARE THEY PAID FOR TO SACRIFICE OUR CITIZENS LIVES? CAUTION PEOPLE PLEASE CHECK THESE PEOPLE RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS AND AFFILIATIONS BEFORE BRINGING THEM TO KILL OUR INNOCENT PEOPLE.

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Anonymous said on Sunday, Apr 8 at 9:32 AM

What has American girl have to with this blog,if I were her I would be nervous ,

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OH DEAR said on Saturday, Apr 7 at 8:04 PM

jUST READING THE OTHER BLOGS ,NOT MUCH CHANGE IN TOBAGO HEALTH CARE, JUST PREY YOU DO NOT GET SICK, THE NURSE WHO SAID HOW DO i KNOW YOU ARE A REAL DOCTOR , MY ANSWER HOW DO WE THE PEOPLE KNOW YOU ARE A REAL NURSE ,GOD HELP ALL WHO ENTER THERE,

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Bagogal said on Saturday, Apr 7 at 8:40 AM

Female relative was admitted to hospital for post surgical DVT. My 78year old mother went to the hospital every morning to help her clean herself because the staff will not do it . They sit at the desk chatting whilst patient's relatives do their job. I do not know if everyone has the same experience, maybe not. I can only talk about what I know. I am happy for the new hospital. My hope in that it meets international standards and that the minds and attitudes of Health Care Providers will be elevated to a standard that will make Tobagonians proud of It's health care service. It' not just the new hospital. New Attitude, Prompt and Efficient Service, Respect for All whom you serve. Continuous Customer Service Training is absolutely necessary. Congratulations on the opening of the new hospital. Here's to a new beginning of the Tobago Health and Hospital System!

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Bagogal said on Saturday, Apr 7 at 7:47 AM

My relative went to the hospital, was sent home, then she died the next morning. What negligence. The staff needs continual education in patient's rights, sensitivity, compassion, accountability and responsibility, infection control, Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric life support. It is a shame that people die from medical problems which if properly diagnosed, could be treated. It is a shame that you will not admit a woman for 24 hour observation so that you can figure out what is wrong. Something was wrong because she died at home the next morning! I experienced something myself while on a mission trip in Castara. Two residents had blood sugar of about 400. The doctor took them to the health center. The nurse on duty did not even recheck the patient's blood sugar. Her concern was " how do I know if you are a real doctor". No concern for the patient. Now tell me if this attitude carries over to the new hospital will the residents be any better for it?

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Anonymous said on Saturday, Apr 7 at 6:40 AM

We must not be blindsighted,by the fact that a building has beigncompleted.What is important is that the negligent health care service,which was all too prominent,in the soon to be extinguished hospitalis not carried over into this new establisment. Focus should be held in high esteem,deemed,in respect for the value of service,life and propper organisation and GODS awareness,as we march forward proudly defining ourselves. when we reconise the essentialiality of these basic needs,then and only then ,we can celebrate the birth of this new building,while everyone plays his ,her part dutifully. ALl IN ALL WELL DONE tOBAGO.

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Press Man said on Friday, Apr 6 at 3:44 PM

Anonymous yuh rushing to spue out your negativity and bitterness as usual.Yuh could only write one positive line. Why yuh so? The hospital open. Be glad for that.

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Anonymous said on Friday, Apr 6 at 10:45 AM

sorry for the extra letters, was trying to be quick on the keys.

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Anonymous said on Friday, Apr 6 at 10:43 AM

Excellent building, fine facility, at last a CT machine. You journalists' have to be either mad or stupid. Put a pig in a palace it will still behave like a HOG. You can build the best equipped facility if the people working there are hostile, short-tempered, don't do there jobs properly, continue to thief out things from the kitchen, theif the sjheets, pillows and endless other things what and where is the relief? Will this new building cause nurjsjes in maternity and the doctors to stop children from dying during, before and soon aftker birth. due to their preskent neglegent behaviour? Wil you be attended to after been there from 7:00am to 10:00pm and others come in after you at 9:30pm and get attendance before you? Where is the relief?

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Tom-Cat said on Friday, Apr 6 at 2:13 AM

Somebody please start the ball rolling on this one. I will come in later down the road, and please leave room for me to comment as well.

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