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PRESIDENT of the TT Nursing Association Idi Stuart says the ambulances under the regional health authorities
(RHAs) are not properly equipped for transporting patients and nurses/ attendants. He said only the EHS
ambulances followed proper protocol for safety.


“We do not utilise the EHS ambulances, those are accessed by people on the roads or from people’s homes
where they pick up the patients and bring them to the institution.
The RHAs have their own network of ambulances,” he said, adding that the EHS was set up for emergency cases
only.
Stuart said any injuries sustained if the ambulance got in an accident, only the driver of the vehicle was covered
by insurance.
The nurse and attendant were only covered under Workmen’ Compensation.
Meanwhile, the National Insurance Property Development Company (Nipdec) last year received $245 million to
deal with drug shortages in the country. However, Stuart said there are still some essential drug deficiencies,
particularly psychiatric drugs.
One drug in particular, the long-lasting Modecate injection which is essential for the treatment and maintenance
of schizophrenic patients and those with paranoid psychosis, is in short supply.
Stuart said they recently got a supply of Modecate, but as there was such a backlog of patients awaiting the
medication, it may not last for very long.
There was also a shortage of Valium (injection and tablets) for epileptics, anti-psychotic tablets and morphine
the latter being a cancer patient’s only reprieve from excrutiating pain. Drugs that are scarce at the St Ann’s
Hospital are Seroquel, Haldol, Stelazine, Depakote, Ativan and Valium.
At the Sangre Grande Hospital there was need for mannitol, morphine and metaraminol.
Stuart said these were just a fraction of the drugs in short supply at hospitals

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