Deyalsingh criticizes Gopeesingh for ‘reckless’ comments on influenza vaccine


Deputy Caroni East, Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, during a press conference on health issues on Friday. - Ayanna Kinsale
Deputy Caroni East, Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, during a press conference on health issues on Friday. – Ayanna Kinsale

The Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh, described the accusations of poor management of the health sector by former health minister, Dr. Tim Gopeesingh, as a distraction from the “reckless statements” that Deputy Caroni East made on the flu vaccine

Speaking on Friday at a press conference at his office in St. Clair, Gopeesingh blamed the Government and Deyalsingh for several problems.

Gopeesingh said that although there were hundreds of doctors, nurses and trained technicians, there was still a serious shortage of these professionals in hospitals. He said that approximately 400,000 people were being deprived of efficient and acceptable medical care due to the closure of the central block at the General Hospital of Port of Spain, and that Couva Hospital was not being used optimally.

He added that a foreign medical professional was silenced when he talked about the state of affairs at the San Fernando General Hospital, including the lack of pharmaceutical drugs and sometimes electricity.

“In the last four and a half years, TT citizens have suffered an exponential deterioration in the public health sector in morbidity and mortality and numerous preventable deaths. The collapse of the primary health care system, which is the basis of medical care, has resulted in widespread suffering for chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), “said Gopeesingh.

“There have been overcrowding and accident and emergency departments in public hospitals, with unacceptable waiting times, lying in cars, all due to insufficient medical resources and diagnostic equipment that don’t work.”

Speaking to the Sunday Newsday after a press conference on influenza on Saturday, Deyalsingh dismissed Gopeesingh’s statements. He said: “Dr. Gopeesingh did what he did yesterday (Friday) to divert attention from his reckless statements about the flu vaccine. He wants everyone (the media) to ask me questions about other things because he has gotten into serious trouble with that reckless statement. Focus on the subject. “

During the press conference, Deyalsingh talked about vaccinations. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control describes the vacillation of vaccines as “delay in the acceptance or rejection of vaccines despite the availability of vaccination services”.

He said the trend could also be found in the medical community and referred to Gopeesingh’s statements in Parliament on December 11.

Hansard de Gopeesingh’s statement says: “Honorable Minister, are you aware of your search for vaccination at the national level, which is important? Do you know that there is a worldwide controversy about the complications of vaccination programs in young children and even in pregnant women too? And from the role of a gynecologist, I still have to determine if I should recommend a pregnant patient for the vaccine, because there is a lot of controversy for children and children are having many vaccine complications. “

Deyalsingh noted that women and children were two of the five groups considered high risk, and whom the ministry has been urging to get vaccinated. “This is called talking about anti-vaxxers,” Deyalsingh exclaimed.

He asked the media to call several doctors to ask if Gopeesingh violated any ethical platform of the medical professions and if they agree with Gopeesingh. “That’s why Dr. Gopeesingh called a press conference … To divert the criticism he is receiving from this and attack me personally. Because he is being hit by this.”

Deyalsingh also urged the population not to “get caught in anti-vaxxers talks.” He said: “The vaccine is safe. It will significantly reduce your chances of getting seriously ill. It will significantly reduce your chances of dying.”


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