Guyana blames Barbados for Cancer Test Results – Barbadian Dr has not been in Georgetown for last 3 yrs, knows nothing of what is said in Georgetown

It seems the Guyana Cancer Society (GCS) is on its last legs and with certain matters unravelling there, some ppl have decided to point fingers over here as to why THEY are not doing what they’re supposed to!

According to the Stabroek News, it has been ages since the Society had a fund raiser and the subvention they get from their Ministry of Health barely covers the rent for a three floor building – where they occupy only one floor… Did they not try to renegotiate or sub-let to offset costs?

Barbados alone was not the sole cause for the demise of Guyana’s Cancer Society, just a major part of it –

The straw that broke the camel’s back, she said, was a break in at its Thomas Street location over the Easter weekend, during which almost everything was stolen including a computer, television set, ten chairs, six boxes of pap smear kits, two phone instruments and one breast cancer model. Additionally, the thief or thieves defecated in the building and smeared it on some records, which had to be thrown away, the woman said.

A reporter called Olautouyin Alleyne spoke to a GCS official who demanded anonymity, and their claim goes in part –

….Cheryl Tinnis, who recently told Stabroek News that her relative, Dianne Yaw, died waiting for her results more than two months after she had done the test in January of this year….

Tinnis said she became angry and told the other person in the building that if the money was not available the next time she returned she would have to take further action.

Tinnis said her suspicions peaked after the secretary/administrator asked her what had been wrong with Yaw. She said when she told her that the woman had been bleeding, the secretary/administrator then told her that the doctor in Barbados, where the samples are tested, had said that blood was found on the slide and it had to be redone.

This however was not the only allegation where Barbados is reputed to be involved, the same article had more –

….another woman is questioning her result, which she believes did not come from Barbados. This woman did not want to be named since she is fighting the matter internally and has already indicated to the secretary/administrator that she wants an original document from Barbados.

She said she received results from Barbados before through the GCS and difference between those and her most recent one is glaring. She showed Stabroek News the result, which did not state the date the slide was taken, the date it was sent and the date when the test was done; it also did not have the Barbados’s hospital seal nor the doctor’s signature.

The woman, who has a medical background said, it is highly unlikely the hospital would issue a result like that and if she did not get the original she would contact the hospital in Barbados to get to the truth of the matter.

The Guyanese Cancer Society official passed the buck swiftly and called a name to avoid any suspicion –

….[The] secretary/administrator said she had requested that those results as well as another patient’s be sent from Barbados and this was done. She said she would check through the files that were not damaged to see if they were there. She explained that the last elected president of the association, Dr Shirley [Jagroop], who lives in Barbados, had advised her on cost-cutting measures. She explained that the association was cash-strapped….

As if this dose was not enough, the anonymous official chose to add this to the steaming pot –

According to her, Dr [Jagroop] had said that instead of the results being sent physically to the society they should be emailed to cut costs. She said this was the reason the woman’s result had no doctor’s signature. She said the hospital had sent the format of the results form and would email the results, which would then be inserted on the computer. “The email would come and it would list a number of names telling us they are okay and then it would say except for, and then those persons would be named and their problem would be listed,” she said. All results would be logged and then calls would be placed to the women who are okay, inviting them to go in and see the logged results.

She said depending on what the doctor in Barbados recommended, those women who are not okay would be told what to do. “Sometimes the doctor would tell them to buy a certain type of cream and to use it and then come back and do another smear.” She said they would be given a physical result, as they would have to take it back to their doctor. This has been happening for two years, she said.

According to the woman, many of the slides that were sent to Barbados in January of this year were broken while being shipped….

At this point, Bajan Reporter could take it no more and we traced Dr Shirley Jhagroo and we learned something quite different! Looked in the directory for her name and nothing, we called the Barbados Cancer Society and when the extension was ringing BR tried the Yellow Pages and we successfully contacted her…

We read the article over the phone and she was shocked since she stated emphatically she used to go to Georgetown every month and backed off after her cousins and brothers (who are in the legal profession there) received death threats and even survived assassination attempts – when they started getting too close to home she remained here. Then tests would be sent to the Piper lab but recently Dr Jhagroo has seen none at all – she has not been anywhere near Guyana since 2004 nor had recent contact with the GCS there!

Dr Jhagroo says they used to have reports sent to Barbados via DHL or Quik-Pak and she’d make recommendations but that has petered out.

The former GCS member says she and another Committee member tried to keep that Society going but it was very uphill without further assistance from the Bharrat Jagdeo regime (Dr Jhagroo says the Guyana Cancer Society’s Fund Raising Committee suffered from the universal inverse ratio – a team of 50 would find only two or three doing serious work and nothing but complaints from the rest)!

She acknowledged the sterling efforts of the late Dr Walter Chin in trying to keep the GCS running and then she assumed the Acting position, but only for a time as she met resistance from other Committee members.


She reiterated that contact between herself and the GCS has dwindled in the last 24 months at least and she cannot understand how the things raised in the article were allowed to be printed before calling her like how BR did!

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