Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh, confirmed on Friday that the female intern who claimed late last month that she had been held up and robbed on the compound of the Port of Spain General Hospital, has been fired.
Deyalsingh told a news conference that the decision was taken after a committee met with the individual “on a couple of occasions and the minutes of those meetings were signed off by the individual so that they were a true reflection of what took place.
“At the end of the day, the decision of that committee headed by the Permanent Secretary was to terminate the services of the intern as of Wednesday of this week.”.
Last month, doctors were planning to turn away patients seeking medical care if security at the hospital was not beefed up as a result of the claim made by the intern, who claimed she was held-up at gunpoint at the hospital on October 24 and robbed after the assailant herded her past four security posts which were all empty.
She claimed the bandit robbed her of $300.
Following the alleged incident, the North West Doctors Association (NWDA) demanded that a police post is placed in the hospital, better lighting and cameras are installed in dark and quiet areas of the hospital, and a complete overhaul of the security detail.
But in a statement the Ministry of Health said that the incident never occurred and that it “takes matters of security of the staff and patients of the nation’s public health facilities very seriously.
“Accordingly the ministry notes with great concern the reports of an alleged attack against an intern, medical services of the Port of Spain General Hospital and the alleged poor security response.”
Deyalsingh said it was also important that justice must be tempered with mercy in this situation.
“We have to treat her compassionately because this is a human being who did something I think she regrets and to be firm because the whole health care system was in danger and lives were going to be put in danger because her colleagues had decided to take industrial action.
“Natural justice had to prevail,” he said, adding “as far as the industrial action is concerned one has to understand we have a duty to this country to serve those who we are supposed to serve and let us not forget that many of our professionals…owe their education to the taxpayer of Trinidad and Tobago”.