The Ministry of Health could not help nine-month-old Marissa Ramlal—who died on Tuesday— with funding for a liver transplant because of “budgetary circumstances,” Health Minister Jerry Narace said yesterday.
Narace was speaking at yesterday’s post-cabinet media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s.
Baby Marissa, who was unable to suckle milk and had been vomiting blood, required $1.8 million to undergo a liver transplant.
Marissa’s belly was also swollen to the size of a football.
But Narace maintained that his Ministry could only operate within budgetary and policy circumstances.
He noted, however, that the ministry gave the maximum possible amount—$60,000—which was “the policy by which we are guided.”
Narace said, “The media will be the first to tell us we must always review our budgets and look at the way we are spending.
“My instructions to the ministry was for us to do the maximum possible to assist the young lady,” Narace added, while offering condolences to baby Marissa’s family.
He said unless the Health Ministry found some financing mechanism it was going to be difficult—but traditionally, people had engaged in different fundraising ventures and that the ministry was more than willing to give the maximum possible amount.
Asked whether the country was equipped to deal with liver transplants and other procedures, Narace said: “These are objectives that we are working towards and there are certain speciality measures/procedures that we are unable to do at this time.
“However, the Government, in trying to create a first world health care system—and we have plans currently to develop two new institutions, one in Port-of-Spain and one in Central Trinidad—we are hoping to acquire that kind of capability as we proceed.”
On the issue of a special fund that would assist families to get specialised care for their children, Narace said an appropriate solution was being sought through the introduction of the National Health System (NHS).
“That NHS is going to be a new system that would allow us to treat with all of these circumstances in the future,” Narace added.
He said the Cabinet had recently approved a health economics unit for the Health Ministry to make appropriate arrangements so that unit would be able to provide the ministry with the cost of a number of services which would commence the NHS system.
The interim measure, however, was the ceiling figure of $60,000, Narace said.
If this was ah fockin nigga baby, you woulda see how fast these fockin Hutu power hungry animals woulda geh da money to save the the niglet life eh.
It real fockin easy to take ah million dollars and give niggas for running ah 100meters under 10 secs, which is what they normally do after robbing some Indian home.
It real fockin easy to take up $50.000.00 and give that lil niglet "Chocolate" for starving she mudder cont self, which she was doin in any case.
But to save the life of ah lil Coolie baby.
Fock dat, leh she dead.
THat summarises how things are in Trinidad.
Thank you PNM, thank you COP.