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Calls for probe into man’s death

Monday, April 7 2014

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Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan...
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan...

THE Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday expressed “deep concern” over an incident in which a Guyanese national was refused emergency medical attention at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope and later died while en route to another medical institution.

According to a release issued via email from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Guyana’s capital Georgetown, the Ministry “is deeply concerned” over the reported incident, so much so, that the Honorary Consul General of Guyana in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Ernie Ross has requested that Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan investigate this incident.

It was reported on the weekend that Jeetindra Sookram was denied treatment at the EWMSC last Thursday and was told he would have to pay for treatment since he was a non-national. Sookram and his common-law wife Vidya Bachew, came to Trinidad last Tuesday on vacation.

On Thursday after he began to experience pains about his body, Sookram was taken to the EWMSC where he was reportedly turned away. He died, according to reports, while being taken to another medical institution.

An autopsy is expected to be done today to ascertain the cause of death although it is believed the 35-year-old farmer may have succumbed to a heart attack. The release from the Guyana Foreign Affairs Ministry indicated that Khan has assured that an investigation into why Sookram was turned away, is underway.

“The Minister has assured that the matter is already under investigation and has reaffirmed the principle that no one should ever be refused emergency medical attention at any hospital.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be aggressively pursuing the matter with the authorities of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. In the meantime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is requesting that the bereaved family members make contact with Mr Ross at the Guyana Consulate at 16 Gray Street, St Clair, Port-of-Spain or on telephone number 622-2913,” the release ended.

Sookram’s grief stricken wife Bachew is now appealing for financial help to have her husband’s body flown back to Guyana for final rites. She has vowed to never return to this country again following this harrowing ordeal.

Efforts to reach Khan and chairman of the North Central Regional Health Authority, Dr Shehenaz Mohammed, for comment proved futile.

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