Senior police officers are undecided about how to proceed with investigations against the medical intern who fabricated a story of her robbery at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital (PoSGH) on Sunday night.
The officers said yesterday the young woman had not filed an official police report, thereby eliminating the possibility of them being able to charge her with wasteful employment of police time, although they noted she created public panic and sparked outrage among her colleagues.
Checks with officials at the St Clair and Belmont Police Stations, as well as the Port-of-Spain Criminal Investigations Department confirmed no complaint was made by the woman.
According to reports, the intern, who was contracted by the Ministry of Health and assigned to the PoSGH, initially said she was held at gunpoint and robbed by a man in a secluded area in the car park at the back of the hospital compound.
But during a meeting between the intern, her parents and North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) officials yesterday, the woman admitted she fabricated the claim.
In a release yesterday, the Ministry of Health said it had ordered a full report from the NWRHA on the matter and noted that matters of security of the staff and patients of the nation’s public health facilities were very serious. The ministry said the intern was no longer on duty since the report.
Sources said the woman had been offered counselling but it still to be decided if any disciplinary action can be taken against her. Ministry officials confirmed the matter was engaging the attention of its legal department.
Contacted yesterday, NWRHA CEO Sheldon Cyrus also confirmed the intern’s claim was a lie. Saying he met representatives of the doctors and nurses yesterday to address general complaints about security at the hospital, Cyrus assured immediate short-term measures would be introduced.
This is expected to include increased lighting throughout the compound and improvements to the perimeter security. He said they would also reach out to various security firms on measures that could be adopted.
Regarding a possible police investigation, he said: “If the police decide to investigate the matter, it is our duty to work along with them.”
T&T Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA) vice-chairman, Kerne Ramnath, said while the matter was now deemed a hoax, their issues over security remained.
While they called off their work-to-rule threat, he said there continued to be legitimate security issues for medical personnel.
“There is no protection for the human resources who are at risk of being hijacked or robbed, especially due to its proximity to high-risk areas,” Ramnath said.
SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt (Anna-Lisa Paul)
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