Another New Amsterdam doctor in hot water after Ramsammy visit
Stabroek News
December 3, 2001

For the second time in a week, Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy has promised disciplinary action against a doctor at the New Amsterdam Hospital over the slow response to emergencies.

According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release yesterday, the second incident occurred on Saturday afternoon when Ramsammy visited the institution and found two patients, including an unconscious woman awaiting treatment in the emergency ward but no doctor was available.

The release said that a nurse told the minister she had called a physician who was on duty at the time and that he was on his way. The doctor is said to live opposite the hospital but he took more than an hour to arrive. The supervisor at the hospital was unable to confirm to the minister whether the doctor was indeed summoned, GINA added.

Upon the minister's intervention, the doctor arrived shortly after and explained to the minister he was not at the hospital because he had been on duty since Thursday and had only left for a short while.

The minister was quoted as telling the practitioner "you were called for an emergency more than an hour ago and you did not respond. This is unacceptable."

The minister said that the medical practitioner would be disciplined today.

Last Tuesday, Ramsammy issued a statement saying that he had ordered disciplinary action to be taken against practitioners at the same hospital over the handling of the case of Shahbodeen Kassim who died there after waiting two hours to see a doctor. Kassim was shot by bandits on the same night in a robbery attack at his Vryheid Village home.

The minister had lamented in the past that doctors were usually not present when he visited the institution and he said on Monday that it was the worst administrated state hospital.