Wednesday 9th March, 2005

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Healthcare a 24-hour service

Why is there a problem with doctors, whether they be senior or junior, specialist or general practitioner, working beyond the so-called regular workday of 8 am to 4 pm?

This idea of paying doctors “overtime” for working after 4 pm or for working on weekends is utterly ridiculous. The modern world works 24-hour days, seven days a week. It is time that we in T&T get out of the old colonial way of doing business (8-4) and get into the 21st century.

Healthcare is a 24-hour service, as illness or medical emergencies can happen at any time and as such should be provided on a shift basis, with a night differential paid to those who work after 6 pm or on the graveyard shift (midnight to 8 am). That is the fair thing to do, but overtime after 4 pm? Come on!

I know “we have always done things so” and nobody wants to change (especially with doctors and other highly skilled professionals), but the country cannot afford to continue down this path. People have to bend and change. New thinking and new methods must be introduced for doing things; not just to save taxpayers’ money, but to make things run more efficiently.

T&T will never move forward with its Vision 2020 plan if it continues conducting business in these archaic ways.

Kelvin C James, Sr

[email protected]

In Support of the Unborn Child

We must protect the unborn child

Abortion we can’t forgive

Innocent souls so meek and mild

Own their right to live.

Come forth let’s replenish this earth

Be fruitful let’s multiply

We must fight abortion for all it’s worth

Life we must not deny.

As abortion slaughters nature’s will

Stop to think awhile

No treasure on earth is worth the thrill

Of your baby’s toothless smile.

Her sacred castle we must respect

Blessed is the mother’s womb

The heartbeat within we must protect

From foetus to the tomb.

No circumstance can ever mitigate

Child abortion is a scorn

We are no dictators of the unborn’s fate

Please, let that child be born.

Vic Dolan Clarke

Diego Martin

Distress at Arima Licensing

WHAT goes on at the Licensing Office in Arima is nothing short of disgusting. It happens on a daily basis, much to the distress of people who transact business there.

I spent four hours to renew my driver’s permit—an ordeal in itself. The space in which people are herded is approximately 12 by 48 feet, the seating is inadequate and people are forced to stand in this crowded room, sometimes spilling out into the yard, regardless of the weather.

The attitude of some members of staff leaves much to be desired. One has to shout through a small hole and very often is shouted to by the staff behind the one-way glass partition.

The workers don’t seem to enjoy performing their duties. However, lunch time seems to be the highlight of the day, when they saunter out, loitering and chatting , oblivious to the waiting public.

Clearly the staff is inadequate and some untrained. Interpersonal skills are lacking as some staffers seem to be unaware of how they must deal with the public.

The Prime Minister has assisted neighbouring countries and for this we are happy. But what about citizens of T&T who suffer in every aspect of life from day to day? What is the Licensing Authority doing with our hard-earned money?

Sandra Joseph


WICB one-sided and unconvincing

If a poll were taken of the opinions expressed by commentators and the general public on the issues of player remuneration and individual sponsorship rights, following the radio and television broadcast by Teddy Griffith, president of the West Indies Cricket Board, last Friday evening, it is likely to show that the first round of the fight to shape public opinion went to the WICB.

I take the opposing view, since in my humble opinion the information coming from the WICB was one-sided and unconvincing. I take issue with the board in four basic areas:

Though I welcome the WICB’s candour about the sustained deficits that it has been running, Griffith’s statement gave me no confidence that the board is adequately addressing its perilous financial position.

If the board has displayed similar shortcomings in its contract negotiations with the players, will the players not be justified in believing that they are unreasonably expected to bear the brunt of expenditure cuts, when at the same time the WICB shows an absolute lack of imagination and creativity in its quest to increase its revenues and reduce expenditure in other areas?

Griffith detailed the payment demands of WIPA and the offer of the WICB.

The logical questions are: were these initial positions? Has there been a process of negotiation? Have parties amended their initial positions? What are the current positions? Have negotiations broken down?

Is the dispute to be referred to the meeting with the chairman of the Caricom sub-committee on cricket, which was previously scheduled for March 7?

If the matter is to be referred, is the WICB not aware that those discussions could be compromised by their prejudicial public statement of Friday evening?

The logical conclusion to be drawn from the broadcast is that there is a widening rift between the players and administrators and that it has been exacerbated by Griffith’s statement. This seems to be the classical case of “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

When the president of the WICB takes the extraordinary step of holding the most attractive players up to public ridicule, I think that this shows a total lack of judgment on the part of the administrators.

Nobody goes through the turnstiles to see the members of the WICB perform.

It is Lara, Sarwan, Gayle and company that we can be persuaded to pay sums to see. It is not in the interest of West Indies cricket to have the players publicly denigrated by their employers.

The broadcast may have succeeded in casting the players in a very unfavourable light.

However, to the discerning observer, it also served to highlight the glaring deficiencies of the board—from deteriorating finances, to low international cricket standards, to declining interest in cricket in the Caribbean, to deteriorating relations between the board and the players.

Unfortunately, nothing said on Friday would instill confidence that the current guardians of the noble game in the region can reverse plummeting fortunes.

Simon A Angoy

Christ Church


Via e-mail

Ramdeen right to voice opinion

Spitting is for animals in human form. People who attend church every Sunday and partake of the Eucharist, surely, would not spit on another human being.

I clearly heard Leela Ramdeen on the TV6 Morning Edition say, among her many valid points on the Chief Justice issue, words to the effect that if the CJ is guilty of misconduct he should not walk away scott free.

But of course the hypocrites and the blind supporters of the Government, and Archbishop Gilbert who wants to be the next local archbishop, conveniently did not hear this, or it went through one ear and out the next.

As head of the CCSJ and a public figure, Ramdeen has the right to voice her opinions publicly, especially if she is invited to do so, in this case by TV6.

Finally, I have lost all admiration for Archbishop Gilbert. Maybe he should apologise to the Prime Minister a few more times, publicly, and on his hands and knees.

Ramdeen has proved that she is a woman of substance and conviction. As for me, I hope I am not spat on for writing this letter!

Kimberly Sita Daljit

[email protected]

Before debates reach the tele...

Before we get parliamentary debates broadcast live on TV, let us make some changes to normal procedure.

For instance, banning obscene gestures, or mouthing of silent obscenities.

Let us change the seating to tall backless stools so we do not have the dubious pleasure of watching big men, sprawling, mouths open, fast asleep.

Finally, let us restrict it to CCTV and we would have a good chance of having it blanked out like so many other sporting events that we wish to see, pay for, but are denied!

Geoff Hudson





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