Icacos residents are renewing their call for better medical aid in the southwestern peninsula after a woman collapsed and broke her legs after falling off a lift yesterday.
President of the Icacos Fishing Association Imam Esook Ali said residents were promised a sea ambulance since 2012, but eight years later they were still suffering because of a lack of emergency medical aid in the peninsula.
Ali told Guardian Media that around 5 am, his daughter Annisa Bissoon, 45, fell off a lift at home and broke both her legs.
Suffering possible injuries to her back as well, Bissoon remained languishing on the ground for two hours before she could get help.
Ali said they frantically called the Cedros Health Centre for assistance but was told by personnel that the ambulance did not do pickups for emergencies.
“We had to hire a private ambulance. She is currently being taken to the San Fernando General Hospital,” Ali said.
Chastising the Cedros medical personnel for not assisting, Ali said it was disheartening to know that they were all paying taxes but could not benefitting from emergency medical aid.
“If my daughter lying on the ground and cannot move because she has broken bones, how do they expect us to bring her to the health centre. This is nonsense. Icacos people deserve better,” he exclaimed.
He also revealed that many times the ambulance has no available drivers and many residents have died waiting for medical help.
He called on Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh to intervene and ensure that Icacos residents benefitted from quick medical aid.
Meanwhile, Councillor for Cedros Shankar Teelucksingh said he has been calling for the Cedros Health Centre to be opened 24/7 to assist residents from the peninsula.
“This is an issue I have been raising since 2015. The Ministry of Health’s paramedics operate only between the Regional Health Authority from the Cedros Health Centre to the Point Fortin Area Hospital. This means in an event of an emergency an ambulance has to be despatched from Siparia or San Fernando,” Teelucksingh explained.
He also said a lot of people have died over the years waiting for medical aid.
In 2018, the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) received a new fleet of ambulances.
An email was sent to the SWRHA and the Ministry regarding the concerns and officials said they will respond once investigations are done.