– Ramsammy urges victims to file complaints with Health Ministry
By Keeran Singh
Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy has confirmed that he has received complaints of physicians and other public health employees soliciting financial contributions from their patients.
The minister was responding to a Kaieteur News query about allegations of Guyana-based Cuban doctors accepting monetary and other gifts from patients for medical services.
He added that this is unacceptable and the Ministry is trying to control this situation but needs the public’s co-operation.
Ramsammy stressed that patients utilizing public health treatment should refuse to pay for services and complain formally with supporting evidence to his Ministry.
“Generally speaking I do believe it happened and we have cases where doctors no longer work with us. It is due process and there is a need to document complaints,” he stated.
Kaieteur News has received several complaints about some Cuban doctors providing preferential treatment to patients who reward them with gifts including Blackberry phones, I-Pods and cash.
A local medical staffer alleged that this malpractice has contributed to the lengthy waiting hours patients encounter at these public facilities.
Kaieteur News was told that at the Leonora Cottage Hospital, West Coast Demerara, where there are reportedly seven Cuban doctors and one Guyanese doctor, the waiting period for the ‘poor’ is lengthy, while the more affluent are prioritized.
According to a source, this situation was so alarming at the health facility that patients openly complained and a meeting was recently held to address the matter. However, some employees believe that the culprits are still involved in this practice.
This situation reportedly also exists at another diagnostic centre in Region Four.
Some of the Cuban doctors stationed at the Leonora Cottage Hospital are also being accused of conducting private practices utilizing the hospital’s medical supplies.
It was noted that medications go missing from shelves and some patients who visit the hospital for follow-up treatment would reveal that a certain doctor visited their homes and performed certain procedures.
In relation to this, Dr. Ramsammy stated that the Cuban doctors should not be in private practice. He posited that patients should provide names of the doctors who are involved so that appropriate action can be taken.
The Minister further noted that the same persons who complain are the ones encouraging the situation.
In addition, the health sector has been trying to have accountability in health facilities but there is room for the misappropriation of medical supplies.
Patients have been complaining that there is a serious language barrier between the Cuban doctors and themselves. This has resulted in them depending on the Guyanese nurses for clarification.
Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran stated that the Cuban doctors have been exposed to English classes to help them interact with patients but according to Cuban doctors they never attended any classes. Whatever English they know was learned in Cuba and it was expanded through interaction with patients.
Dr. Ramsaran further noted that the Ministry is pairing doctors so that both Cuban and Guyanese doctors work together. However, this cannot be done at the Leonora Cottage Hospital because there are seven Cuban doctors and only one Guyanese doctor.
However, one medical practitioner noted that despite the shortcomings, the Cuban medical staffers provide important services for Guyanese. It was emphasized that the 300 medical students scheduled to return home in 2012 would not be able to provide these services like these specialists
|Written by realTalk|
|Sunday, 12 June 2011 13:31|
|Many Guyanese blindly support the PPP government and are either not aware or choose to ignore the severe effects of crime that have tormented Guyana and continue to do at alarming rates. All the talk about the 40 and 50 year old events that took place in this country under the PNC is but a tiny speck when compared to the very large ever spreading blotch painted in blood that continues to run on the fabric of our society.
A few months after the dawn of the new era of democracy in Guyana in 1992, Monica Reece was flung from a speeding car on Main Street Georgetown. It was to mark the beginning of a vile and treacherous era of organized crime in Guyana. To trace the birth and rise of organized crime in Guyana during the last 19 years would require a book. No column can do justice to the darkest period of our history.
The Guyana Police Force unfortunately played a crucial role in the nurture of crime in the Guyanese society through its ambivalence with regard to its crime solving ability. The wanton engagement in extrajudicial killings began in the mid-90s and rose to dizzying levels with the ‘Black Clothes’ wreaking havoc on the unsuspected and the unprepared. These events, from little Jermaine in Albouystown in the late 90s to Shaka Blair and Yohance Douglas in 2002 and the others that followed, place the Guyana Police Force in a very precarious position where extrajudicial killings in Guyana are concerned.
With extrajudicial killings rapidly intensifying in the 90s, it did not come as a surprise when the disgraced former US Embassy employee, Mr. Thomas Carol, identified members of the ‘Black Clothes’ as being his muscle used to extort monies from persons caught up in his ‘Back-Track’ scheme. This did not mean that members of the Force were disciplined. No. This new era of democracy saw the wanton rewarding of incompetence. The elite ‘Black Clothes’ police continued their vicious work of taking lives, instead of solving crime.
The prison break of 2001 introduced Guyanese to a display of unrestrained violence never seen before. According to the Police, the escapees allegedly went on a robbing and murdering spree in Georgetown and other parts of Guyana. There was much violence in Georgetown, the East Coast and some parts of Berbice. And soon every robbery and murder was being pinned on the escapees. This led to an all-out man hunt countrywide for this band of robbers and murderers.
What happened as a result of this wave of terrorism in Guyana was the rise of a self-appointed vigilante, drug lord and businessman Saheed Roger Khan. He said he offered his expertise to the government and played a very instrumental role in bringing the escapees to justice. How could a criminal fugitive from the United States of America – a drug lord – assist in fighting crime? It is incomprehensible.
Dead bodies started surfacing all over Georgetown with multiple bullet wounds with no apparent explanation. This went on for a few years. Certain alleged drug kingpins were also terminated. And so it seemed as if amongst the eradication of the escapees, a teeming turf war had ensued. The emergence of George Bacchus and his revealing testimony that introduced Guyanese to the startling connection shared by the government and Mr. Khan’s outfit shed new light on the level of violence that was being perpetrated. George Bacchus execution-style death generated several questions that remain unanswered to this day.
Strangely, the recently concluded manhunt for Osama Bin Laden, the world’s most wanted man bears some striking similarities to our local hunt for the escapees. The same way Mr. Bin Laden was found living comfortably in luxury in the midst of suburban Pakistan not far from its military school is the same way some of our escapes were found in the suburban Georgetown area of Lamaha Gardens, a few doors from the then Minister of Home Affairs. They were killed there.
The kidnapping of a former US Embassy employee saw the embassy issuing a one million dollar reward for the capture of Shawn Brown (one of the notorious escapees). However, less than a week after that Brown was traced to a luxurious home in another suburban part of Georgetown in an area called Prashad Nagar and was gunned down allegedly during a firefight with security forces.
While the joint services operation was combing the harsh backlands of Buxton, the escapees enjoyed life in very quiet neighborhoods in Georgetown. What was the support system offered to them and by whom? Was the jailbreak a quest for freedom or was there an underlying more sinister motive involved?
Mr. Khan himself is now in jail in the US and his trial revealed many things about the role of certain government ministers in his paramilitary organisation’s role in Guyana. The ‘thin’ brothers, Fine Man and Skinny, are all also off the scene, yet carefully organised drive-by shootings continue to occur.
Ronald Waddell, along with over 200 other Guyanese, was executed during that dark period in our history. A serving Minster of the Government was assassinated in 2006; a prominent businessman was abducted in 2008, clinically beheaded and subsequently dumped in the city. When government politicians talk about blood on the hands of other politicians from the 70s, what do they really mean? Is Guyana safer today than it was in the 1973? Has more blood been shed during this new era of democracy or when the PNC ruled?
The views expressed in this and other columns do not necessarily reflect the views of Demerara Waves.
In less than one month 5 horrific crimes against minors and the PPP led government is once again showing zero leadership in attempting to address this problem. In Guyana it is common place for sexual predators to pay small sums of money to have these cases just closed without any form of punishment, and the predators just walk free.
1. 12 year old raped by an American resident, offers to pay $250 USD to quiet the victims.
2. 3 year old raped, Ministry of Human Services officials say there is nothing they can do
3. 14 year old Amerindian girl gang raped by men suspected of giving her booze.
4. Father and brother rapes 16 year old daughter/sister http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2011/05/17/rape-accused-father-and-son-released/
5. Father rapes 12 year old daughter
These are just a handful of cases that I have listed but this is one major issue that the PPP have failed to address after taking office 2 decades ago.
Dr. Randy Persaud pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after New York prosecutors agreed to drop two other charges. He appeared in court two Saturdays ago.
Persaud is the key figure linked to the Office of the President in Guyana and is said to be involved in government’s propaganda work.
He was arrested on April 29, in Queens, New York, after he reportedly lied to police about his name during a protest. His name is Randolph Baron Persaud. He told the police that his name was Baron Randolph. Police later found out that his correct name was Randolph Baron Persaud.
Officials said that Persaud was originally charged for disorderly behaviour, giving false information to the police and public mischief.
A plea deal was worked out between his lawyer and the prosecutor and two of the three charges were dropped. He ended up pleading guilty to disorderly conduct last Saturday afternoon and was placed on six months’ probation.
He reportedly spent the entire night in jail.
The protest exercise that led to the charge was said to be comprising of persons sympathetic to opposition parties Alliance for Change (AFC) and People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) who made calls for a change in Guyana and calling on President Bharrat Jagdeo and PPP/C Presidential Candidate, Donald Ramotar for changes.
There was a police presence and the protestors were behind barriers.
According to sources at the scene, Dr Persaud requested an interview with the protestors. When asked to identify the organisation he represented, he reportedly refused to present proper identification and started to mock the gathering.
The police found him behaving in a disorderly manner and handcuffed him when he tried to wriggle out of the situation by providing the arresting ranks with a wrong name.
Man accused of raping 12-year-old girl; proposes $50,000 to settle matter
A 40-year old man called ‘Alim’, is being accused of raping his neighbour, a 12-year-old girl of Number 78 Village, Corriverton, in his bathroom.
According to the girl, who related the entire incident to Kaieteur News, the man, who is known to the family, observed that the girl’s parents had left the home after which he proceeded to get the girl and her sister to enter his house.
The girls, not suspecting anything, since the man and her parents knew each other a bit, went to his house. After they arrived over at the man’s house, he asked the victim to cook a meal for him.
Upon refusing his request, the man pulled her into the kitchen. Her sister then pleaded with the man to let go of her sister, which he did not. He asked her again in the kitchen to cook for him.
The alleged rapist then started to kiss the girl during which she struggled to push him away. “He pulled me to him. Then he start kissing up me, then I pushed him away. Then when I pushed he away, he pulled me into the bathroom, and there he take advantage of me,” the girl said.
After the act the traumatized girl returned home and uttered not one word to her parents or her sister.
The girl’s sister said that she was talking to another man who was with the alleged rapist at the home and she did not know that her sister was being raped during that time.
“The same day, every time I walk on the road now, he does watch me; everybody a watch me,” she said. “He said that if we ain’t settle the story, he gotta put we out. He asked mommy if money she want, and mommy said she don’t want money. Money don’t full me mother eye. She don’t want riches,” the girl said.
After several days in silence, the girl finally broke the news, not to her parents, but to her teacher who then related the incident to her parents. Her mother then reported the matter to the police and the Probation Officer, Mrs Singh, as well as the Student Welfare Officer in Corriverton, Mr Mohammed.
But by this time, ‘Alim’ had already left the country. He is a U.S. resident and according to the mother, the police stated that they cannot do anything more about the matter, since the man has left the jurisdiction. She also said that the police still have to send the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Meanwhile, the girl’s mother said that she was approached by one of the man’s friends, whose house she is renting, who related the alleged- rapist’s desire to settle the matter for $50,000.
“If that been happen to he daughter, what he would’ve done? That is something wrong I do, to go and represent me child?” the mother said.
She refused to settle the matter for money. “If he do that to me daughter and run, who more he gonna do that to?”
She said that the entire area was shocked to know that the man did what he did to her daughter.
She added that she believes that the perpetrator is pulling strings with his friend (her landlord) to evict them from the house. The landlord has given them a time period after which they must move out of the house; either leave or settle for $50,000.
“I really want to know what is going on with this story. I asked he if this went in you place, what you would’ve done? He said somebody would’ve had to go jail. I said I did the right thing. One man interfere with me daughter, what me must sit down and laugh and joy over it? I can’t laugh and joy over it,” she said.
The girl said the man did not use protection while performing the act. The mother said that the girl took HIV tests and a pregnancy test but she is still not certain whether or not her daughter is pregnant.
She is calling on the authorities for justice in the matter.