Trinidad Medical Intern Cries Wolf And Almost Causes Patients To Lose Out On Care


The intern claimed she was robbed in the carpark of the Port of Spain General Hospital and, in response, doctors had threatened strike action. (Photo: Newsday)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Thursday October 27, 2016
– A medical intern who claimed she was robbed at the Port of Spain General Hospital over the weekend, prompting doctors to threaten strike action, has admitted she made up the entire story.

The Ministry of Health confirmed this week that at a meeting with the intern, in the presence of her parents, she owned up to her lies.

Now, according to the Trinidad Guardian newspaper, lawmen are unsure how to handle the matter since the intern never filed an official police report, although she had created panic and sparked outrage among her colleagues.

It had been reported that the intern had finished working around midnight and was walking towards her car, which was parked in a poorly lit area at the back of the hospital, when a man pretended to be lost and asked for directions to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She said she escorted the man to the ICU but as she tried to leave, he pulled out a gun and ordered her to a secluded area of the car park where he robbed her of $300.

As a result of what the intern said happened to her, doctors at the Port of Spain General Hospital had served notice that they would only be dealing with emergency cases from yesterday, if they were not given assurances that measures would be put in place to ensure their safety.

The North West Doctors Association (NWDA), which had the backing of staff from the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association, had said there was an urgent need for increased security.

“Look at how far this girl walked. Look at how many checkpoints she passed through without even a security guard present. The North West Doctors Association (NWDA), which is representing the needs of the doctors, have demanded that a police post be placed at the [Port of Spain General Hospital] with immediate effect,” it said at the time.

However, with the revelation that no robbery took place, the doctors backed down from their strike threat, although they insist there is still need to beef up security.

The Ministry of Health said it remained committed to ensuring that all employees working within the public health institutions, as well as members of the public, are provided with a safe environment.

It said the chief executive officer and general manager of operations at the North West Regional Health Authority, under which the Port of Spain General Hospital falls, held “very productive talks” with the NWDA with a view to resolving security issues.

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