There are three pressing things on my mind, and I will pass the exigency of an analysis of the phenomenal LGE 2018 results to expatiate on these morbidities, hoping that when I get back to the LGE outcome, the thing would not be outdated.
One is the shameless colonial mentality some Guyanese display when they argue for copyright legislation. The sickness of colonial leftover is a Freudian nightmare in this country. Another is the impending crisis at UG which once more has proven me right when I critique people, places and events no one in Guyana wants to touch on.
For now, I will dwell on the death of twins at birth last Saturday at the West Demerara Hospital. On yet another occasion, a poor Guyanese citizen, whose economic station in life precludes them from enjoying what our ruling politicians call the “good life” in Guyana, has endured an unnecessary tragedy in the state medical system.
One of the great concepts in philosophy is “deconstruction.” It is a method of analysis where the thinker breaks down texts and words into tiny particles to look into hidden layers that essentially are at variance with our traditional and customary understanding of language.
We owe this fantastic journey to the French philosopher, Jacques Derrida. With deconstruction, we no longer take at face value the meaning of some of the most important texts that have been in existence for thousands of years. With deconstruction, we know words have deeper meaning that can offer us a better understanding of the narratives that govern human interactions.
What is the deconstructed meaning of “good” and “life”? It is outside the scope of a mere newspaper column to go into details, but more importantly, when our ruling politicians speak of the enjoyment of the good life in this land, Freud is at work. They mean the good life for those who command the society. They mean people with wealth and state power.
The good life was best seen in the huge, expensive billboards with the visage of the Minister of Finance announcing the coming of the 2017 national budget. The good life is the way scarce funds are spent on travel and entertainment at UG.
When could life ever be good in a country where unnecessary death at the public hospital is the norm and has been so since Independence? My mom died at the public hospital in 1985. She was left unattended. I didn’t have money to take her to a private hospital. This is the fate of poor folks in my country. May I remind readers that recently, the Prime Minister spent two months in hospitalization in the US. Then Minister Trotman just returned from the US after medical treatment.
As I write these notes, I am sure many of our rulers are planning trips abroad for medical check-ups. The mother who lost her twins didn’t have access to such opportunities. Reading that mother’s accusations against the doctors enrages you, and for one basic reason – we have heard these charges over and over and over. Yet, not one doctor has ever been placed before the courts for manslaughter.
Minister Volda Lawrence became the second in charge of the ruling PNC at her party’s congress last August. She may very well be the president if Mr. Granger needs extensive recuperation. She may well be the president after the 2020 election. Yet it was under this minister’s tenure that a ten-year-old school child from Charlestown died after she was kicked in the stomach by a fellow student last year.
Doctors at the Georgetown Hospital looked at her without doing tests, gave her pain killers and sent her home. She died the next day. She died from internal bleeding, when in the 21st century with fantastic equipment you can examine the inside of a living human body. A simple test would have detected internal bleeding.
Minister Lawrence ordered an inquiry. This was a straightforward case of death by medical incompetence. The nation has heard absolutely nothing about the outcome. Do you know why? The little girl came from a poor Charlestown family. They don’t have money to sue the state. Poor people die in the public hospital system in Guyana in situations that remind you of a science fiction movie, where the world is about to end and people are dying like when flies are swatted.
My media career is over thirty consecutive years, and some of my saddest moments have been to write of the senseless deaths of so many poorer folks at the Georgetown Hospital, including that of my own mother who I loved so dearly.
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