… “GPHC is for everyone,” Norton tells senior medical practitioner
Public Health Minister Dr George Norton has posited that the Georgetown Public Hospital is
Injured prisoners being escorted out of the Camp Street Prison to receive medical attention
a public facility to be used by everyone, including those inmates who were injured during the riots at the Georgetown Prison.
The Minister’s comment comes in light of statements made by a senior medical practitioner, who on Thursday went on a rampage over what he said was the failure of the medical team of the prison’s infirmary to first make contact with the Hospital before taking the injured prisoners to the institution.He said while the Hospital has always been prepared to deal with such mass casualties, the huge situation could have been handled better, if proper arrangement was put in place.
“They have medical personnel on the ground, they have an infirmary. One would have
An injured prisoner at the GPHC
expected that things would have been done at a local level first, inform us and then we take it from there. Unfortunately, they just brought [the injured]. So when we see them coming without a phone call, we sent our crew to assess the situation and that is when we realised that there was nothing more,” the senior medical practitioner told a group of journalists.
He said such instances usually cause severe problems since they interfere with the smooth flow of operations at the medical institution. The senior medical practitioner said it affects other persons who are visiting to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit for treatment.
But responding to these comments, Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton said while he is not satisfied with the services of the A&E department, it was the best place for the inmates to go to be treated.
“It is only recently that we paid a visit to the Georgetown Prisons; we agreed that there was need for more medical personnel at the Prisons. The Ministry has already identified persons to do some training. Yet, the right place for such patients is the GPHC and not the prison”, he told reporters outside the A&E.
The Minister said the emergency unit on a regular day also has its limitations and would love to see the necessary changes being made to the department, particularly in the area of space.
Meanwhile, on Friday, another riot at the correctional facility saw 12 persons, including seven officers, taken to the GPHC to seek medical attention.
Up to the time the Health Minister spoke to the media, one officer was undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound he sustained.
The patients include officers Roy Chance, Jason Waltae, Travis Gould, Andrew Moore, Errol Daphness and Shaun Edinborough, along with inmates Nigel Armstrong, Sookdeo Daramdatt, Joel Jones, Shaun Edwards and Mark Angoy.
Dr Norton made it clear that the five prisoners would not be treated any differently from any other patient.
“If we could have the slightest inclination to think that anyone is being discriminated against, measures will be taken, sanctions will be taken. We will deal condignly with any unprofessionalism that is displayed by anyone from the public health, including the GPHC,” Minister Norton stressed.
Pandemonium broke out at the Camp Street Prisons, leaving 17 inmates dead and five others injured following a fire in a section of the penitentiary.
According to reports, the bodies of 16 prisoners were found in the Capital A section of the Prison on Thursday morning. This section, located on the eastern side of the compound on John Street, holds prisoners on remand for or convicted of serious crimes. Another inmate succumbed at the medical facility while receiving treatment.