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Lying medical intern fired

Saturday, November 5, 2016
Terrence Deyalsingh

The medical intern, who lied about being robbed at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital (POSGH) two weeks ago, has been fired.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh yesterday announced the woman’s dismissal from the Ministry of Health.

Providing an update on the matter as he attended a function hosted by Rebirth House at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, yesterday, Deyalsingh said the decision was made only after a thorough investigation into the matter.

Deyalsingh said the investigation was done in a compassionate and firm manner.

The minister promised he would soon deal with the issue of security as “there were legitimate concerns which need to be addressed.”

The woman fabricated a story on October 23, claiming she had been robbed on the compound of the hospital, prompting her colleagues at the facility to threaten to take industrial action by withholding services.

Deyalsingh said a team, comprising the ministry’s permanent secretary, chief medical officer, legal officer and human resources officer, was assembled to investigate and advise on the matter.

“As minister, I have an overarching responsibility to protect the integrity of the public health care system.”

Senior medical officials said it was sad the woman had so “cavalierly thrown away” after years of education and training.

However, they renewed the call for stricter evaluations and mental health assessments to be done on people entering the field and currently in training, as they said it was a possibility the intern might have needed professional help in that area.

On the issue of suicide, the minister said, that was an area which could not be addressed “flippantly” but required “deep, deep introspection.”

He said the Mental Health Unit was looking at the matter and would offer proposals soon on how that could be achieved.

Pointing out that the authorities had to consider all the factors involved, he questioned if too much pressure was being placed on children to focus on passing exams and growing up too soon as they deal with social factors, such as peer pressure, teenage pregnancy and social/academic performance.

Microcephaly baby “doing well”

Meanwhile, Deyalsingh said T&T’s first baby born with microcephaly as a result of the Zika virus remains at home in the care of her parents.

He said the ministry had begun performing tests to determine if the baby’s hearing was impaired.

“She is doing as well as can be expected at this time,” he added.

Deyalsingh said the offer of financial aid from the Ministry of Social Development was appreciated by the family.


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