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I refer to Stabroek News article published in its Wednesday, April 21, 2021 edition captioned, “Anthony says GPH has to answer for the woman’s amputation after COVID hospital accident.” Minister Frank Anthony has been one of the few PPPC ministers I have developed a respect for, mainly due to his public conduct. However, his handling of Mrs Padmine Mc Rae’s unfortunate amputation after she was admitted to the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH ) for COVID treatment, as is demonstrated in his interview with the Stabroek News reporter has caused me to rethink my assessment of the Minister.
Editor, Mrs Mc Rae’s amputation and the circumstances surrounding it is an important public matter and should not be treated as a state secret. He is reported as saying, “I am not sure why they are making this into a public statement…”. Why should the family not make this a public matter Mr Minister?
He continues, ” …but I am sure if they go to the hospital where there is an office it would be dealt with,”. Readers should note that this was done by the Mc Raes. The Minister must have read the Stabroek News article on this matter which occupied a full middle page of the (20.04.2021) edition before the interview. It is also very unlikely that this incident was not reported to him by his officers in the Ministry of Health, since the Infectious Disease Hospital and the Georgetown Public Hospital fall under his Ministry. And I will contend further that given the political vigilance of his comrades in Freedom House and the government when it comes to the media it is most unlikely that he was not made aware of this matter before his interview with the Stabroek News reporter. Therefore for him to contend, ” … that there is an office set up at that hospital to deal with such matters” and later, ” I am not sure why they are making this into a public statement….”, is troubling In the context of the information provided by Padmine and Nelroy Mc Rae on their engagement with the GPH and the Ministry of Health. What more on earth was the family expected to do? Minister Frank Anthony seems to be suggesting that it is the victim’s responsibility to seek out government assistance, and not the GPH and his Ministry’s automatic responsibility to address this matter. One would expect given the circumstances of this matter that the GP H and the Ministry of Health would have taken the necessary actions to facilitate the family’s access to government agencies that could assist the family.
It is apparent that the usually sober and cultured Frank Anthony was ” upset” by Mr Mac Rae’ s public appeal to him as Minister of Health for better treatment of his wife, and took the complaint personally. Mr Mc Rae is reported as saying. ” I don’ t know what kind of monster is this….they know is their fault. Come on Mr Minister, say something. This is horrible. What happens to my wife? She walk in good and now she come back without her foot… Do something! Say something! Is like I wrong and me ain’ t want to say sorry…, “. This is a desperate working class family appealing to the powers that be for consideration and justice, and their appeal should be taken for what it is – they need help. I don’t want to believe that the Minister took the fact that he was called out as political. I will be more disappointed if he did.
I close by drawing the Minister’s attention to the Cuban health system which I am sure that he has knowledge of, and suggest, based on my experience in Cuba, that a situation like the Padmine Mc Rae’s amputation would be handled in a human and civilized way. I doubt that Minister Frank Anthony will disagree with my suggestion.