Kaieteur News – You don’t know what will be your station in later life. But if I fall sick, and I have no one on this earth to help me, I am telling well-wishers here and now, let me die rather than take me to the Georgetown Hospital. No poor person who cannot afford private facilities should enter the Georgetown Hospital. You are not coming out alive. My mother did not. My brother-in-law did not.
My mother died at that hospital in 1985 in circumstances that are identical my brother-in-law’s situation. But here is an eerie dimension to his passing. After he was admitted, my nephew, his son, flew in to Guyana to take over. I had indicated that since he was available, he should be the one since Covid-19 would be a problem for me.
On the first day of his arrival at the breakfast table, he said something that caused me to jump out of my seat with a rush of adrenalin. He has a lucrative job with one of the world’s leading financial institutions. He was dead serious when he told me that he had discovered a yearning for his Caribbean roots and wants to settle here or Trinidad. You don’t have to ask for my reaction.
After spending two weeks in Guyana watching his neglected father die in the Georgetown Hospital, this Guyanese is finished with Guyana. I may never see him again. He has no intention of coming back even for a day. So what happened at the Georgetown Hospital?
Just a quick diversion. I take some responsibility. I know the CEO of the hospital. I taught him at UG. If I knew what was taking place, I would have contacted him and the minister. I should have gone and let the confrontation take place with those so-called doctors. I regret I didn’t go.
On arrival in Guyana, my nephew saw his dad in the ICU. For the days he visited there, no doctor spoke to him about his dad’s illness. One day he turned up at the ICU only to be told his father was assigned to an open ward but no one at ICU knew which ward it was. My nephew walked to several wards looking for his father. Can one imagine such insanity in the 21st century?
For the entire period, his dad was in the open ward no doctor was there during visiting hours. He requested to see a doctor to ascertain exactly what his father’s ailment was. The nurses simply told him they tried paging the doctor on duty but got no answer.
The Wednesday night, the patient deteriorated. The Thursday morning he died. My nephew asked the nurses if when his condition worsened if a doctor came, she told him she paged the doctor but he did not respond. From the time my brother-in-law entered the Georgetown Hospital until he died his son did not know what his ailment was. He knew that from the death certificate.
Getting the death certificate from the hospital took two days of running around. To get the hospital stamp on the funeral parlour’s document took an entire working day of running around. Getting permission from the Ministry of Health for cremation took two days.
My nephew is in his mid forties, he lived in several Caribbean countries and several other countries, and he said what he experienced in Guyana was his first taste in life of what hellhole means. What is the problem with Guyana? I will not blame any government from President Hoyte right up to President Ali for what the Georgetown Hospital has. I honestly believe all those presidents wanted to see the primary hospital in Guyana deliver modern health care. It never did. I doubt it ever will because Guyana is jinxed.
I imported a car from Japan and when it came in 2019 and I went to uplift it at the GNIC wharf, it was almost an impossible task getting that car. Please see my column of Sunday October 27, 2019, “Always follow your instincts or you will lose your life.” My experience in getting that car tells me that no other country in this entire world is as dead as Guyana is.
For two weeks in 2017, the Guyana Livestock Development Agency was executing puppies at Ogle airport because the arriving persons couldn’t state the country of origin when most of the angels were from the interior of Guyana. To think it was veterinary doctors who were doing the killing not airport security. Past Police commissioners and traffic chiefs told me they prohibited traffic ranks from making random stops. It continues daily. Every visitor in the GRA looks sad as you enter. This is my country in the 21st century.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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