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TRHA SHORT OF STAFF

TRHA needs 623 more workers

By by ELIZABETH WILLIAMS

The TRHA says it needs an additional 623 staff to bring the organisation to the full complement of 1625 employees needed to effectively run health care in Tobago.

This information was revealed when the Board of Directors of the TRHA and Senior Hospital Managers appeared before the Joint Select Committee of Parliament on Wednesday. However, Chairman of the TRHA, George Bell indicated that part of this figure represents additional staff needed for the new Scarborough Hospital.

Dr. Tim Goopeesingh questioned the level of staffing at the Authority. He asked if the TRHA is not overstaffed taking into consideration the TRHA serves approximately 60,000 people in comparison to Trinidad where RHAs serve approximately 300,000. In response, Bell noted that there are 84 Health Centres in Trinidad, compared with the 21 in Tobago. The hospital, he added, must operate 24 hours and the Health Centres have to be appropriately staffed. He noted that much of it has to do with geography. Bell indicated that the ratio of Health Centre to patient in Tobago is 1:2700.

With regard to vacancies, Bell explained that there are 44 vacancies for Medical Practitioners and 200 vacancies for nurses.

Dr. Goopeesingh also raised concerns over the mortality rate at the Scarborough Hospital. Pointing to the fact that 21 out of every 1000 people admitted to the Scarborough Hospital die, the Medical Doctor noted that this figure is astronomically high. "You all have to hold yourself responsible for it," Goopeesingh stressed.

He told the Board that he is fearful of falling ill in Tobago. "I am afraid as a national of Trinidad and Tobago, of getting a heart attack in Tobago. You cannot encourage tourism in Tobago, if you cannot have a proper health care system in Tobago," Goopeesingh stated.

Meanwhile, Senior State Counsel, Alvin Pascal argued that The Tobago Regional Health Authority is subject to the Tobago House of Assembly. Pascal was responding to a question posed by Committee Chairman, Dr. James Armstrong regarding the relationship between the TRHA and the Ministry of Health.

Pascal maintained that the statute which created the TRHA determines the regulatory framework under which the RHAs and the THA acts. "The TRHA is an entity which is governed by a Board of Directors and if you look into the TRHA Act, you would see that the management of the Regional Health is the function of a Board," Pascal stated. He maintained the shareholder of the RHA in Tobago is the Tobago House of Assembly.

The State Counsel went on to deal with some of the shortcomings of the Act, including the fact that there was no mention of penal sanctions for any RHA which refuses to follow the guideline of the Minister of Health.

Dr. Tim Goopeesingh further pressed the Board about the relationship between the Division of Health, the TRHA and the Ministry of Health, making reference to the good working relationship that exists between his Ministry and the Division of Education in Tobago. Pascal explained that the Minister of Health may give general advice to the Division and the Division is likely to address those concerns.

Chairman of the TRHA, Keith Charles explained that the Minister of Health meets monthly with all Chairmen of the RHAs. He believes there is a good working relationship with the Ministry. CEO, George Bell also sought to reiterate the point that there is good collaboration with the Ministry. He cited the management of the recent H1N1 virus as an example of the collaboration.

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jenjen said on Tuesday, Oct 9 at 2:51 AM

continue:Always working with a smile,friendly,and caring.Then I spoke,she said OMG you are a Trini,No wonder you you are different.Then she asked why did you come to work here.I kept my silence.She said to me here is no place to work.pls dont change and become like us.I felt good.pls tell me I can still have a glimer of hope that my country and its health care is not falling apart.LOVE TNT

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jenjen said on Tuesday, Oct 9 at 2:45 AM

I am a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago,born in Tobago.Aregistered nurse in a foriegn land.I am thinking of coming back to my country to work but withall that is being said ,honestly I don't know what to do,The working condition is so bad,here where I work and I always though that my country was doing much better,I always embrace the fact that my country folks are loving and caring people.I am wondering if this bad publicity is political.If it is it will hurt our country very badly,I continue to promote my country as beautiful with the most loving and caring people in the world.I am very patriotic.I don't get it I have known many persons leave this country and come to Trinidad and Tobago for health care and return with good praises about our doctors and nurses,I remember one lady met me at the hospital I worked and she was observing the way I work; she came up to me and asked,are you from here .I answered with a smile,she then said to me you remind me of the nurses in Trinidad.

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observer said on Wednesday, Aug 1 at 7:20 AM

Bagoboy lol,you must be a health worker at trha.back stabber1

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observer said on Wednesday, Aug 1 at 7:16 AM

BagoBoy u must be a stark illiterate and racist.Why dint u go to UWI as there is equal oppotunity?and get an mbbs(bachelor of surgery and bachelor of medicine if u dont know what it is)like your trinidad counterparts and come head tobago hospital.You dare write like a backward tobagonian that you are.

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Can said on Friday, Apr 13 at 9:55 AM

Ok so you need workers, so where are those Vacancies being posted????? SMH!

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Citizen 500001 said on Saturday, Sep 17 at 3:04 PM

Tobagonians need to stop making excuses for their failures. Take criticism as constructive observation and act on it in a positive way. Attacking the messenger is not solving Tobago's problems.

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trifloridian said on Wednesday, Aug 10 at 9:36 PM

The TRHA is playing games with people`s contract. I am still trying to find out who is presently in charge of the TRHA They do not have a CEO, HR Manager,or other qualified person to handle people`s sensitive information. They said that they would give you X..Y..Z but they cannot put it in the contract but when you assume employment they never honor their word. They do not even honor what is written in the contract. Please professionals stay clear from Tobago make your living somewhere else .

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Nurse uk said on Monday, Mar 28 at 2:46 PM

I will never apply to work in Tobago hospital due the lack of equipment. Unprofessional staff who does not respect patient confidentialilty, neither show any respect to patients. Nurses and doctors should be more accountable for there actions.

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TOBAGONIAN IN THE UK said on Sunday, Mar 27 at 6:18 PM

THREE WEEKS AGO I WENT TO A FORENSIC PATHOLOGY CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON DC. THE FIRST PRESENTER WAS INTRODUCED AS ONE OF THE LEADERS IN ADVANCED CRIMINALISTICS AND MEDICOLEGAL DEATH INVESTIGATION. IT WAS A TOBAGONIAN, I WILL NOT CALL HIS NAME( I RESPECT HIS PRIVACY) . HE SAID THA NEVER CONTACTED HIM WHEN HE SENT HIS RESUME. TOBAGO YOU ALL WILL DIE LIKE FLIES UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION.

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TOBAGONIAN IN UK said on Sunday, Mar 27 at 6:09 PM

WHERE ARE THESE JOBS POSTED IN NIGERIA? I KNOW AT LEAST 5 TOBAGONIAN DOCTORS ( INCLUDING MYSELF) THAT WERE TOLD THERE ARE NO POSITIONS OPENED IN TRHA. ALL FIVE OF US ARE PRACTISING IN THE UK.TRHA HEADS NEED TO STOP BRINGING UNDER TRAINED DOCTORS FROM AFRICA( ONE OF THEM WAS NOT EVEN A DOCTOR) HE LIED .

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Health Fanatic said on Thursday, Mar 24 at 10:25 AM

Good of you BagoUK to raise the issues of funding for the TRHA and suitability of equipment for high quality care. But what about the quality of health education to improve family health. Is there adequate funding for that? And who is doing anything about the junk food and sugary drinks sold daily in the school cafeterias to the school children?

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BagoUK said on Wednesday, Mar 23 at 12:42 PM

You cannot encourage tourism in Tobago, if you cannot have a proper health care system in Tobago," Goopeesingh stated. What has the health system in Tobago got to do with tourism? Healthy people leave their countries and travel around the world for fun and adventure.They do plan a holiday based on the state of healthcare in a particular country;if that were the case many of us would not attempt to visit third world countries and developing nations. The article also said...Dr. Goopeesingh also raised concerns over the mortality rate at the Scarborough Hospital. Pointing to the fact that 21 out of every 1000 people admitted to the Scarborough Hospital die, the Medical Doctor noted that this figure is astronomically high. "You all have to hold yourself responsible for it," Goopeesingh stressed. I am left wondering whether adequate funding was made available to the THRA and whether it has suitable equipment ncessary to provide high quality care.

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who in the kitchen does feel the heat. said on Tuesday, Mar 22 at 11:43 AM

For the general public who is criticizing Health care workers in Tobago need to step back and evaluate the whole system. The lack of equipment, unsuitable environments for care, unending problems that are reoccurring. Patients who lack responsibility for their own care, patients who constantly sign themselves out of hospital and return when the situation DRASTICALLY WORSENS, lack of staff and the lists goes on and on. Yes in every establishment there as workers that need discipline but what about the majority who function at their maximum with the minimum resources provided. HARDLY ANYBODY POSTS AN ARTICLES WHEN THEY GET EXCELLENT CARE but let one mishap occur the doctors and nurses are the worse. come on people stop and think before you cast judgement.

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Tobago Rose said on Monday, Mar 21 at 3:42 PM

Will you all put politics aside and think creatively about ways to improve the general health of the population? Perhaps 21 out of 1000 people die in the hospital, but what was the acuity of their illness, how sick were those people. Most people distrust doctors and go to them only when they are really sick, then we expect miracles. Do we provide enough preventive programs? Do we encourage the population to eat right, exercise regularly? Do we encourage the population to grow their own vegetables, eat ground provisions, cut back on the packaged processed foods, fried chicken and chips? There are some things we as citizens can control. Step up to the plate, focus on preventing diseases, cut back on the alcohol, take care of our bodies. This can be a start.

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disgusted said on Monday, Mar 21 at 2:30 PM

bagoboy you must be racist. Did you even go to school? Can you even begin to walk in the shoes of those doctors? Think first before you write such things.

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Stanley said on Sunday, Mar 20 at 6:16 PM

In reality we need to fix health care in Tobago. However the point made by Grieving mum about people having a carefree mentality is important. Ultimately health the issue isn't really health care in my view but primary prevention- changes in diet and lifestyle. Once people take that seriously and eat healthily and exercise half of the problems will be solved in the medium term. So the TRHA needs to focus more on a health promotion programme aimed at lifestyle changes for the people of Tobago.

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Grieving mum said on Sunday, Mar 20 at 4:52 PM

Health care would only improve when nurses and doctors are made to be responsible and accountable for their action. New buildings and equipments would not change the standard of health care.People's attitude and carefree mentality must change.

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Jacob Samuel said on Sunday, Mar 20 at 2:34 PM

It is troubling to read Dr Goopeesingh's comments on mortality rate in Tobago, especially knowing that he himself is a medical doctor. It is too simplistic to just say mortality is 21 per 1000, and concludes that Tobago hospital is unsafe. Has anybody examined the causes of those deaths? Are we sure such deaths would not have occurred in Trinidad or anywhere else for that matter. In order to jump to the conclusion of the honourable minister it will be important to at least compare like for like on both islands to start with. I think it is frightening reading comments like this from our respected minister. No one denies the fact that Tobago deserves a better helthcare than is currently avalable but so do many other countries, including the so called first world nations. We need to guard our public utterances, especially those of us previledged enough to be in positions of authority. Enough said.

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Jacob Samuel said on Sunday, Mar 20 at 12:38 PM

A few comments against the nationalities of medical practitioners in the hospital are pathetic. The mentioned heads of surgery, medicine and A&E were all internationally trained and qualified, far more than a lot of the local graduates. People generally display a degree of ignorance that is mind troubling in this beautiful island. No doctor can work any miracles beyond the resources available to him. The aforementioned doctors would have been working at the top of their profession in countries like USA, Canada or the UK if they had chosen to do so. I think bagoboy needs to grow up and research his fact before writing jargons in the national newspaper. You wrote like a boy indeed; a small boy for that matter.

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Concerned said on Saturday, Mar 19 at 11:40 PM

If there are so many vacancies open, in what areas of expertise are these required? Is there an ad out for persons suitably qualified? What about all the persons who got VSEP? What is their position? Are they coming back in the system to "run things" or to actually work (which they may not have done in a long time - some of them). Is it just numbers they are looking for or really qualified persons? Some of the workers act/behave/work like they are not trained in their area of work - and that goes from captain to cook!

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onlooker said on Saturday, Mar 19 at 10:30 PM

Now if what bagoboy is saying about the person in Charge of A&E not being qualify then some one in HR needs to answer that.

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Ingram said on Saturday, Mar 19 at 6:49 PM

I think Tim wants to be the Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Health, and also Tobago Development.

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jameera said on Saturday, Mar 19 at 2:00 PM

Is Tim the Minister of Health or the Minister of Education???

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Jeniffer Grant said on Saturday, Mar 19 at 10:12 AM

Kindly clean up your situatons in Tobago Hospital.Trinidad and Tobago should act as one family and do not put such disgraceful information on the news, Shame on you.I was born there, grow there, schooled there. NB Other country acts as brother and sisters, what the hell is wrong with my people there.

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Long Stump said on Saturday, Mar 19 at 8:26 AM

Jimmy has raised the old integrationist argument that kept back Tobago before 1956, and then again under the PNM 1956-1986. We should be thankful for the DAC in 1976. Without them winning the two Tobago seats there would have been no THA in 1980. And there would have been no NAR in 1986. Where would Tobago be now without the articulation of the separatist argument over the years by Biggart, James, Robinson, Murray, Davidson,Nicholson,Charles,Caruth,Jack and others.

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Jimmy said on Friday, Mar 18 at 11:34 PM

Tobago has an identity crisis problem. They do not know who and what they are or want to be. They also want different treatment than other parts of the Rebublic just because they are a different land mass. Hawaii is not attached to the mainland of US, yet they do not get sepcial treatment. Tobago should be on the same footing as Biche or Rio Claro. There are parts of Trinidad that are more neglected than Tobago. So I get upset when they want sepcial treatment.

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Health Fanatic said on Friday, Mar 18 at 8:52 PM

I wonder how much attention is being given to health promotion.Are thre specifisc positions vacant for peronnel in Health Promotion? What is being done to promote healthy eating in schools?

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bagoboy said on Friday, Mar 18 at 7:52 PM

In Tobago one main problem is lack of equal opportunity for nationals. Major clinical heads of departments are held by Nigerians whoes qualifications ae questionable eg Head of medicine, head of surgery, General manager primary care and head of A&E who is not qualified in this field

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jasper said on Friday, Mar 18 at 8:59 AM

Tobago needs to align itself with someone else. Trinidad and Trinidains have always felt Tobago and its citizens are not desreving of anything proper. I am not surprized the Tim Goopeesingh is asking those kinds of question and further stating he doesn't want to become sick in Tobago. Tim , Tobago could do without individuals like you. You are incapable of ordinary reasoning. Part of Tobago's health problem is a staffing issue -not enough staff to completely manage to need, when is arises.

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Zola said on Friday, Mar 18 at 8:58 AM

Correction - You have Mr George Bell as the Chairman of the TRHA at the beginning of the story, and as the CEO of the TRHA at the end of the story. Just a little error there. He is the CEO of the TRHA, and not the Chairman.

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