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Cuffie will not answer “Opposition questions”

Published: 
Thursday, January 7, 2016

Media questions on the status of the Couva Children’s Hospital at yesterday’s post-Cabinet media conference were dismissed by Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie as “Opposition questions,” which, he said, he did not intend to answer.

“I generally try not to respond to calls from Opposition Members,” Cuffie told a journalist, apparently implying that it was the Opposition who called there with the question.

“When people ask questions about what the Opposition is saying, I don’t respond. I try to keep with Government business. I am here about Government business.”

Cuffie, who seemed not pleased with the question on the Children’s Hospital added that “they (the Opposition) really want to sidetrack us.”

The question on the update on the Children’s Hospital came in the midst of calls from former health minister, Dr Fuad Khan, to “commence utilisation of the complex.”

The state of the art hospital was completed by the People’s Partnership administration just before the September 7 general election but, to date, has not been utilised by the PNM Government.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh earlier said the hospital is yet to be commissioned and handed over and cannot be utilised until that is done.

Khan has been making several public calls, including on the UNC’s Facebook page, for the hospital to be opened.

In a previous T&T Guardian article, he even threatened to fast on the steps of the hospital until it is opened.

Khan said within recent times a growing number of patients had been complaining of not receiving beds while awaiting treatment at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex and the San Fernando General Hospital. 

Khan added an increase in patients in Accident and Emergency wards was expected for the Carnival season due to the high level of alcohol consumption and revelry that takes place.

He said there is also continued screening and treatment of people for the H1N1 virus.

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