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Speaker Wade Mark yesterday denied a motion by Opposition MP Dr Amery Browne seeking an urgent debate on the Carnival Saturday death of a newborn baby at Mt Hope Women’s Hospital. The baby died minutes after he was born after a C-section on his mother, Quelly Ann Cottle, 38. The child’s head was cut during the surgery. Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan told legislators later that Attorney General Anand Ramlogan was to commission an independent investigation into the death.
Browne’s attempt was to have all business of the House suspended to allow for a full debate on the incident. He said the matter related to “the failure of the Government to properly address the incidents of horrific outcomes in the health sector.”
He said: “There has been an alarming epidemic of neglect and negligence within the health sector,” as the country “continues to experience unacceptable levels of perinatal, infant and maternal mortality; injuries related to healthcare procedures; negative complications due to botched surgeries; alleged exploitation of patients and possible criminal negligence.” He said the matter should be debated urgently because the country had been horrified in recent months “by a sharp increase in medical atrocities.”
Browne said one such atrocity was “the inexcusable, agonising, traumatic death by deep cranial laceration of a newborn citizen at the Mt Hope Women’s Hospital.” He said citizens felt unprotected because of the possibility of a recurrence and levels of trust in the sector had been reduced to an all-time low.
Browne also alleged that there was “a medical mafia in existence.” He told legislators there was the public perception that there were “many levels of cover-up and concealment that would prevent the truth from emerging in these circumstances.” Mark denied leave to debate the issue, saying it did not qualify.