My two cents on the 9-day wonder….

Me again! New thoughts have been processing but Lordt hav’ mercy the time! Anyways, here’s one of ‘em…

Everything goes through phases in Trinidad and Tobago. The ‘9-day wonder’ we call it where all of our attentions and passions are directed to something for nine days and after that we focus on another topic. These days the health care system is in for a rough ride as the Minister of Health Fuad Khan has recently revealed proposals to ‘shake up’ the health system in light of recent deaths of mothers in the public hospitals due to complications of C-section births. Among these new policies include fathers being allowed in the delivery room, increased visiting hours and a female relative being able to stay with the mother 24/7.

I feel it for the relatives of the mothers who died. I can’t even begin to imagine the trauma of entrusting the life of your precious wife/daughter into a shaky hospital system where she has to bring forth a child only to suffer the pain of losing her and in some cases, the child as well. It is a reality that the majority of the Trinbagonian society has no trust in the health care system. Very often from Port-of-Spain to Mt. Hope to San Fernando you hear tales of ‘hoggish’ nurses and nonchalant doctors intermixed with hours and hours of waiting, sparse pharmacy facilities, paltry bathrooms and no beds.

I had both of my gremlinz in POS although I live in the East and this was driven mainly by a lack of faith which was further driven by fear (I wasn’t going to Mt. Hope for nuttin). I wish I could have done the private room or nursing home thing in a comfortable room filled with flowers and family visiting only me but the reality is that my salary did not permit. So too are the MAJORITY of expectant mothers in the land. As an expectant mother you expect to feel comfortable to deliver your baby, you expect patient nurses, you expect professional doctors and you expect the help to guide you through this very difficult process. I got exactly that at Port of Spain General. When I had my gremz the staff was very satisfactory. I mean it wasn’t Club Med in terms of the facilities, but I had no intention of lengthening my stay longer than I needed to.  I followed all instructions to a tee from clinic days to the delivery room.

It is difficult for me to paint a broad brush even though this is what I did at when I decided to forego Mt. Hope for POS and yes there are vastly numerous cases where the burden of the unstable hospital system is felt. However as a worker in a field where the glare of public scrutiny is definitely felt, I also feel it for the professionals in the hospitals. On the other side of this coin there are some doctors and nurses who are unfairly chastised for the work that they do or are unable to do based on the resources that they have and the public cases cropping up of pregnant mothers dying. (Substitute the ‘doctors and nurses’ bit there for teachers, public servants, police officers etc. and you will understand the general state that we are in). On top of it all, there is a Minister who jumped the proverbial gun and instituted his policies without relevant consultation and added more pressure to all involved rather than intelligently easing the tension.

I hope sincerely that all matters are resolved and that closure comes to all involved in this extremely sensitive area. We are on the tail end of the 9-days though and sadly soon we will be on to the next.


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