Former Minister of Health and Opposition Leader Hon. Edwin Astwood is hopping mad that health concerns expressed by former radio disc jockey Crissy Pratt was yet to be addressed even after two years since his party lost power.
The following is a statement issued by the opposition leader:
I applaud Ms Crissy Pratt for speaking out about her medical situation and her interactions with our healthcare services. Ms. Pratt has contacted me while I served as Minister of Health about her encounters with our Healthcare Services she interacted with. The information shared was very alarming to me and needed further investigating and rectifying.
The information communicated to me, I shared with the Permanent Secretary of Health and other Ministry Health Officers, because I deemed Ms. Pratt complaints to be a matter of urgency that needed to be addressed immediately. I also contacted top management from the TCI Hospitals to take an urgent look at Ms. Pratt's reports because her complaints were concerning the scanning and imaging machines at the hospital, and brought into question their precision and accuracy.
Additionally, I made recommendations for an investigation into her complaints, and had asked for the assistance of the Ministry of Health's consultant from the UK to investigate her claims put forward by Ms. Pratt.
I also took Ms. Pratt along with Mr. Capron to a NHIP Board meeting to express their concerns about the level of healthcare they received. Needless to say, since that time I have not heard of any further action being taken to properly address and rectify all the concerns being submitted by Ms. Pratt.
I also went to the Governor, requesting an audience for Ms Pratt. To his credit he did reach out to the relevant authority, however it did not result in the desired actions to be taken.
Since then, my party lost the election, and other individuals now hold the positions of Minister of Health and Premier, notwithstanding this, I continued to reach out to Ms Pratt and I encouraged her to take the matter to the Hon. Premier Missick, the Hon. Minister Robinson, and the top Officers of the Ministry of Health, NHIP, and Inter-Health Canada. An additional year and a half have passed without any further advancement being made in addressing Ms. Pratt complaints.
I am also aware that Ms Pratt also went to the complaints commission concerning a letter she received. The then commissioner is no longer employed at that office, and it appears that no further investigations have taken place since that time. I saw a letter where they threatened to prosecute her.
I can assure the people of these islands that the information that Ms. Pratt had presented to me was more than sufficient for an urgent independent investigation. I am concerned that her position not being addressed and rectified, matters may have gotten much worse that the desired medical outcomes may be difficult to now achieve.
I watched a live broadcast via Facebook by Ms Pratt, asking the Premier and the Minister of Health to sit with her and examine the evidence, however to date, rather than meeting with her, it seems as if she is being victimized for speaking out, and for encouraging others to do the same.
The people of these islands need these matters to be addressed before more people are put in a situation where they feel that their interaction with our healthcare services did not produce the desired outcomes, and that problems and anomalies may have been missed.
Both the Hospitals and NHIP need to conduct an urgent investigation into the occurrences being put forward. The hospital is now replacing some machines, which is good, but what happens to the people who may have been undiagnosed or misdiagnosed from being scanned using the old machines, some of whom may still be taking medications that they may not need to.
It seems as though many of our people are afraid to come forth, fear of being victimized and also that many of our Health professionals who may have concerns about the workings of the Hospitals may be fearful of losing their jobs if they speak out. We need to have protections in place for our health professionals who may want to blow the whistle on matters which they may be aware of.
I stand with Ms. Pratt because everyone who knows the situation seems to be running away from the problem. I will stand with all others with similar occurrences. Life is turn by turn, Today may be theirs, tomorrow can be my turn or your family turn. We need help for them all, not later, now.