Former Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan is placing blame for ambulance response times on hospital workers.
Khan was referring to the recent death of 63 year old Keith Sitahal who collapsed on Harris Promenade in San Fernando and died before an ambulance could respond. Staff at the San Fernando City Mayor’s Office transported Sitahal to the hospital when other health care workers did not arrive to assist at the Mayor’s request.
Khan told the media that there was no policy stopping any health worker from transporting Sitahal to the hospital. He cited the workers as being “lazy” and that that behaviour is what increases delay time between patient transfer and when an ambulance can respond to a trouble call.
Earlier reports said San Fernando City Mayor Kazim Hosein said it took the ambulance 45 minutes to respond. However, Global Medical Response of Trinidad and Tobago (GMRTT) in a report sent to the Health Ministry said it took 24 minutes.
The incident caused uproar in the country with questions about the poor state of ambulance services and the lack of police response. GMRTT blamed the response time of health workers at the hospital in transferring patients.