Last update: 30-Jul-2014 5:59 am
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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AG as probe team into C-section death named: There’ll be no cover-up
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says if there was any wrongdoing and/or cover-up in the Carnival Saturday death of a newborn baby during a C-section on his mother at Mt Hope Women’s Hospital it “will be dealt with and exposed to the full weight of the law.” Ramlogan gave a brief interview in Parliament after naming the members of the committee set up to probe the death and related matters in the health sector. The committee will submit its report to Ramlogan.
He said the probe, which is to start immediately, was “not a witch hunt, it is meant to be a very fair, balanced and unbiased professional investigation and one that will speak to the facts.” The baby died after he was cut on his head during the operation. Ramlogan insisted the incident was not to be swept under the carpet, as Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had left specific instructions on that matter, saying: “We must take the bull by the horns and we must wrestle this beast into the ground.”
Ramlogan described the death as unfortunate and said the probe must be “transparent and fair and free from fear” and he would tell Cabinet the recommendations of the committee should be made public. He said he did not want any favour from the committee, which should be able “to tell us if we fell down, if we did not fall down and to take a very dispassionate and professional approach to this matter to prevent similar tragedies.”
Saying he was confident there would be an improvement in the health sector after the recommendations of the committee were presented, he said, he did not want the probers to rush the investigations but to be thorough. He asked for there to be “some calm and restraint” among the population during the investigation and said people should not jump to conclusions. “We must not try, convict and execute while the investigation is going on because that will not serve anyone’s purpose,” he added.
Responding to the selection of Dr Petronella Manning-Alleyne to the committee, Ramlogan said she was chosen “not just because of her expertise but her willingness to speak out.” Manning-Alleyne is the elder sister of former prime minister Patrick Manning, so according to Ramlogan, this probe crosses the political divide.
Chair: Retired judge Mustapha Ibrahim. Members: Dr Petronella Manning-Alleyne, neonatologist and former head of the Neonatal Unit at the Port-of -Spain General Hospital and Dr Melanie Clare Davies, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the University College of London Hospitals and a registered member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.