Denial of factual issues

Dear Editor,
It has become the norm for government officials in this country to deny factual issues when they are raised in the hope that some people will believe their denials and if not, at least they can live in that belief that all is well under their watch.
So it came as no surprise to me when I read the Director of Health in Region 6, Javaughn Stephen, in the Stabroek News dated June 13, refuting my letter to the press with regards to the appalling conditions existing at the New Amsterdam Hospital in addition to the shortage of drugs and x-ray films.
At the last RDC meeting which was held on Thursday 2, June, 2016 in the RDC’s boardroom, I outlined and highlighted everything which I wrote in the press. The media houses were there and so was Stephen.
At that meeting, I highlighted the shortage of vital medications, shortage of gloves and syringes, animals being in wards, shortage of reagents at the lab, elective surgeries not being done because of issues with theatre beds and the anaesthetic machine and shortage and poor supply of x-ray films (x-rays were not being done for all cases).
Moreover, at the Health Committee meeting which was held prior to this, the CEO, Bynoe, and the Director Stephen acknowledged the dire situation at the Hospital and blamed the tendering process and the MMU. I reported this response in my letter.
Stephen though has admitted one issue mentioned in my letter: the issues of cats and dogs but tried to spin his way out. But what is strange is that he made mention of what was done under the previous PPP/C government but has miserably failed to mention what he as the Director of Health is doing to get rid of dogs and cats in the wards!
Stephen also tried to justify this issue by stating that diseases give out odours that only dogs can smell, hence the attraction to hospitals. This is so ridiculous that it borders on insanity! If such be the case then we can expect to see dogs following sick persons home! However, I have not seen any dogs in wards at any other medical facilities.
The hospital is not a fish and meat market yet there are more cats and dogs at New Amsterdam Hospital than at the Port Mourant market!
Moreover, while ‘outreach’ programmes are commendable, I would like Director Stephen to also focus on the health service ‘within reach’ – moreso since the New Amsterdam Hospital is an arm’s length from his office!
However, the intent of Stephen is quite clear. It is simply to cover up the ineptitude of the officials attached to the Health Sector in Berbice since it has now become clear after one year that their political qualifications precede their management skills. Even a square peg can sort of fit in a round hole after constant pushing but not so in this case!
At this point I would like to refute an inaccurate statement made by Stephen at the last RDC meeting: He claimed that Dr Ali, who was allegedly assaulted by CEO Bynoe, retracted his allegations and apologised to the CEO. I personally called Dr Ali who said that he never apologised and he did not retract his statement against the CEO. The doctor is still awaiting the appropriate response from the Minister of Health.
Where the health and well-being of our citizens are concerned we must always endeavour to be truthful and fearless – let the chips fall where they may!
This see-sawing of the drugs shortage is a well-known and irrefutable fact throughout this country and one that cannot be blown away by denials. The government must act decisively to bring resolutions to the problems plaguing the health sector. The health sector has been a dismal failure after one year in office. The appointment of incompetent persons has also drastically worsened the situation.
In conclusion, I have nothing to gain personally or politically, it is my intent that the health sector is improved so that the residents of Region 6 can enjoy a better delivery of health service.

Yours sincerely,
Haseef Yusuf
Chairman of the Health
Committee – Region 6