Philip Ayoung-Chee said yesterday, public reaction to the doctors’
protest could have negative implications for doctor/patient relations.
said: “Since the public decides now to attack doctors, I can assure you
that there are no doctors out there who are going to fight for patients’
president of the San Fernando Hospital Doctors Association, said he will
continue to fight for himself and leave patients to battle on their own.
Guardian - May 1, 2002
it’s any consolation to us, there are few doctors who are on the record
for fighting for patients’ facilities.
the last two years, based on dozens of interviews with doctors (who
understand their responsibility, their vocation, and are unafraid of
scrutiny because they continually educate themselves) frustrated patients,
and bereaved victims of doctors carelessness, I wrote a dozen columns on
following testimonials should throw some light on the reason for
‘negative’ doctor/patient relations as related to me by some of Dr
Ayoung-Chee’s peers, and patients of public health care institutions.
1 (October 2000)
very doctor who puts off your surgery in the hospital will walk across the
road to his private practice and if you greet him with a brown paper bag
full of money, operate on you right away. There is no regulation to
protect patients’ rights. The governing body (The Medical Board Of
Trinidad and Tobago) is uncaring to the point of being immoral.”
2 (October 2000)
health care system has collapsed. It’s as old as the 19th century and we
need to skip a century to even begin to catch up with the rest of the
world. The model of treating rather than preventing disease hasn’t
worked. The physician as father figure has failed miserably. He does a
lousy job of it.”
3 (October 2000)
GPs are substandard because there is no system of continuing compulsory
medical education for them. They are not kept up to date with the latest
drugs and medical information. In the US, doctors have 50 hours of
continuing medical education every year, and have to be Board certified
every seven years, or else they can’t get their licence renewed. We are
operating without a Bill of Rights for the patient, which is why there is
so much exploitation of the patient by the medical fraternity.”
of 20-year-old man who died at San Fernando Hospital. August 13 2000:
son had an abnormal heartbeat. When he was admitted at the San Fernando
Hospital he was suffocating between breaths. I asked for oxygen for my
son. The doctor told me my son had to wait. He died an hour later.
the duty doctor had read his notes he would have seen he was a high-risk
case. The doctor should have put him in intensive care, done a scan,
my son couldn’t breathe he should have paid attention to him. He
didn’t even try to save him. If he had done what was right, my child
would have been alive today.”
of two-year-old baby who died in the Mount Hope Paediatric Unit. August 5
will never forget the image of my baby, in serious distress, unable to
breathe, not eating or drinking, bloated, having to wait for seven hours
to be admitted to the ward, being told to wait her turn.
Mount Hope, even when her lungs were filled with fluid, even after she
vomited, they brushed off my complaints.
body was swelling because she was going into septic shock. Nobody
suggested a blood transfusion, or removing the fluid from her lungs until
she was dying.
when she went deathly white, and the monitor went off, and when both her
lungs were gone was she was surrounded by doctors and specialists, taken
to the intensive care unit where she died.
misdiagnosed and neglected her. I can’t sue them because doctors are not
going to testify against doctors and I don’t have several hundred
thousand dollars to pay lawyers. I didn’t complain to the Medical Board
because they say they have no power to discipline doctors.”
is interesting to note that RHA and Public Service doctors are so vocal
about their salaries, but quiet as mice when it comes to implementing a
Doctors Code of Ethics, a Patients Bill of Rights, or a Malpractice Board.
trust most doctors are aware a truly civilised country is measured by the
manner with which it treats most vulnerable citizens (and who more
vulnerable than the poor and sick?).
nobler battle for doctors would be to administer health care with
humanity, accountability and excellence and within our limited resources,
especially when they get a substantial pay hike, to battle for patients,
not against them.