“There can be no excuse why Chaguanas was omitted from any consideration especially since this is the fastest developing area in the country,” Navas said in a statement yesterday.
In his address in the Senate, Manning said a feasability study done by consultants and a “technical analysis did not support a hospital exclusively for Central Trinidad”.
Navas said that three years ago, a hospital was promised during the tenure of former PNM Health Minister John Rahael. She said persons from Central Trinidad must travel to either Port-of-Spain or San Fernando General Hospitals or the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.
She said that during a visit by Local Government Minister Hazel Manning, three weeks ago, it was announced that Chaguanas will be granted city status. “How can we have a city without adequate facilities?” Navas asked.
She called for PM Manning to revisit plans so that Chaguanas can have a modern health facility “which the burgess rightly deserves”.
However, the Medical Association said it was enthusiastic about any move to modernise health care delivery in the country. In a statement, its president Dr George Chamely said, “One would have to assume that proper audits have been done to ascertain, not only our present situation but our future needs in terms of bed capacity, staffing, equipment, auxiliary services, teaching facilities, on-call facilities for staff, theatre and outpatient facilities with a view of reducing waiting lists to name a few.”
The Association hopes the medical community will be part of discussions on the planning of the facilities. Chamely said they can make an invaluable contribution based on their experience working in the system.
Chamely also commended Manning’s choice of the Solomon Hochoy Highway for the new San Fernando General Hospital saying this location “affords us the opportunity to not only build a facility to international standards, but also allows project for future expansion as the needs of the population grows.”