Bajan Reporter contributor observes appalling conditions at Barbados’s QEH Outpatient Clinic – Damon Corrie wants to know why children have to suffer if no replacement for Suspended Specialist available?

Dear Editor,

I feel compelled to write a few lines about my experiences this morning (Tuesday 28th December 2010) for I feel that a reader may glean something of benefit from what I have to say.

"...I only hope that a child does not have to die for the 'grown-up's' to get their priorities straight, let whomever was out of line apologize and whomever's ego was bruised - get over it, a human life is worth more than ANY issue causing this impasse!"

I took my 14 year-old son to the outpatient clinic of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at 8:00 am, 3 mothers with toddlers were already seated in the waiting room; I placed my son’s appointment card in the box provided and we took our seats to the rear of the room and waited.

Two ladies with a special needs young man about 20 years of age by appearances came in around 8:30am and they made the lad to sit before seating themselves on either side of him. In seconds the lad began to fidget and try to touch everything around him and try to stand repeatedly, this did not surprise me given his unfortunate biological circumstances; but one of the ladies (I daresay his mother?) became highly annoyed and strong-armed the lad out of the room stating to him for all to hear that she was “going to take him to the car and drop some slaps in his a**“.

THAT surprised and immediately depressed me, I watched through the window behind me as she took this special needs young man out to the car and vehemently kept her word.

I felt my eyes welling up with water and I looked away, pretending to rub my closed eyes until evidence of tears had been concealed from my son and the others in the room who seemed unperturbed in the least.

I did not know who this special needs young man was nor even his name, and it hurt me to think that I as a stranger could see that his immortal soul was merely a prisoner of his dysfunctional body, and he certainly did not deserve to receive a sound (and seemingly routine) beating as a result of his inability to control his physical form – so why could his own mother not see him the same way? Special needs children require MORE love than ordinary children, not more punishment!

"Here is a matter which requires Minister Inniss’ intervention. It has been languishing for too long now. It is not an issue the Minister should feel inclined to offer ‘no comment’. Not a Minister who subscribes to being patient-centric or should that be customer-centric?" BARBADOS UNDERGROUND

Around 9:30 am a Doctor came out to myself and the lone other parent who was there this morning waiting to have a child seen by Barbados’s SOLE Paediatric cardiologist Dr. Ishmael; only to be told that he is still on suspension and no-one knows when he will be allowed back to work.

All we can do here is give you a routine Pediatric examination – same as your family doctor, but ONLY Dr. Ishmael can give your child a professional cardiological examination, as a child’s heart is not the same as an adults, so even going to a Cardiologist who specializes in adults is not an alternative option for you“. With that we were given back our appointment cards and we left.

As the lady with the infant having heart complications was heading to the bus stop I heard her say, “This is foolishness, because of the lack of an apology and a letterhead being misused children’s lives in Barbados can be put at risk? How can you suspend someone when you do not have another who can do the same job? What kind of a Government and Minister do we have to allow a situation like this? I don’t have thousands of dollars to pay to see Dr. Ishmael privately!

As for me personally, I only hope that a child does not have to die for the ‘grown-up’s‘ to get their priorities straight, let whomever was out of line apologize and whomever’s ego was bruised – get over it, a human life is worth more than ANY issue causing this impasse… and of this much I can assure you!

Yours sincerely,
Damon Gerard Corrie

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  1. It really amazes me how these doctors are ‘ganging up’ against the country just to protect one of their clique. If Dr. Ismael dies, what will happen in Barbados. Are there no other cardiologist who can replace him. If that is so, we are in a bad state, aren;t we?
    What happened to these ‘sick’ children when the one-of-a-kind doctor was absent, taking care of the former Prime Minister, when he was ill….?


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