|Image of the front of the New Scarborough Hospital|
Patients at the new Scarborough Hospital are being asked to shower with cold water since no hot water is available in the wards. A patient at the maternity ward contacted Tobago News last week Friday and informed this newspaper that only cold–water baths are possible at the facility. “I am accustomed bathing with luke-warm water; it was tough for me to bathe with the cold water, this is unacceptable after millions of dollars were spent,” the new mother stated.
Tobago News understands that the situation is one that has been plaguing the new facility for some time now. “I would like the TRHA and the Division of Health to explain why this situation exists and why it is taking so long to be rectified,” she cried.
The Tobago News reached out to the Secretary of Health and Social Services Claudia Groome-Duke and informed her of our knowledge of the no-hot-water issue. The Secretary directed us to the Tobago Regional Health Authority Board, the autonomous body responsible for the operations of the hospital.
On Thursday, Chairman of the Board Jennifer Brown and Chief Executive Officer Paula Cumberbatch of TRHA were contacted on the matter. Brown responded to our calls later in the evening. She did not confirm or deny if there was indeed an issue with the hot water at the hospital and wondered who our sources were. The chairman asked that this newspaper contact TRHA by email for a response.
In response to our query, the THRA sent a press release indicating that due to an issue detected in the plumbing system, the wards at the Scarborough General Hospital are without hot water. “However, demands for hot water on the wards are being met. NIPDEC is urgently working to address the issue. We would like to note that the Scarborough General Hospital is still under the Defects Liability Period and as such NIPDEC has full responsibility to address any teething issues that may occur in the new facility,” the release stated.
The release did not state how soon the situation would be rectified or if the problem is restricted to wards or the entire hospital.
Meanwhile, the TRHA also stated in its release that the hospital kitchen is now fully functional. “All patient meals are now prepared at the Scarborough General Hospital’s kitchen by our dietary staff. The installation of new equipment continues, to bring the kitchen to its full capacity,” the release indicated.