The New Today
Editorials

The Ethics Committee!!!

The New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell should be stopped in its tracks with plans to interfere with the Medical profession by trying to impose a superstructure on top of something that is already in place, is working and not broken.

This regime has announced through Health Minister Nickolas Steele its intention to establish an Ethics Committee to decide who will be given priority treatment in this Covid-19 pandemic.

It begs the question – why will PM Mitchell and his ministers choose to get involved in this kind of activity which falls squarely on the shoulders of those involved in the medical profession?

It is already well known that doctors and nurses and other healthcare professionals make these decisions every day without the advice of politicians.

The Prime Minister and his government are walking along a dangerous path and opening up the health system to attacks and ridicule from a public that is already not happy with the handling of the coronavirus pandemic at the moment by the powers-that-be.

Our doctors and nurses, free of any political intervention, are more than capable of assessing the various medical scenarios and to determine which of the patients should be given priority treatment.

There is no need for the “NNP GREEN MACHINE” to interfere in a system that has already been set up over the years and is currently at work in our hospital services.

Several months ago, the current Prime Minister told the nation that the system of government in the country is “broken” and is not working.

Dr. Mitchell is yet to fix the system but is now targeting the Medical profession by seeking to impose some kind of an Ethics Committee to make fundamental decisions on life and death issues with a touch of Christianity in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

What really will be the terms of reference of this so-called new Ethics Committee and who is going to oversee its work?

As a government, the NNP administration should be concentrating on fixing with great urgency those things that should be put in place and are badly needed to help bring the Covid-19 situation under control.

Seventeen months was enough time for the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers to put together a Covid-19 budget which would have covered the funding of a facility to deal primarily with persons infected with the virus.

As one prominent doctor commented this week, the current government “need to listen and take advice from the right people.”

And this is a major problem with the NNP administration including the Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele.

Staffers in the Ministry of Health have often complained of decisions being taken and overnight they will be overturned by Steele whom they accuse of discussing these decisions with someone overseas with family connection and then coming back with a different set of directives.

THE NEW TODAY has reasons to believe that the Covid-19 figures given daily by the Ministry of Health are not presenting a true and accurate picture of the existing situation in the country.

There are several persons at home who have all the symptoms of the virus and are not checking in at any of our healthcare facilities for a number of reasons.

A few days ago someone well known to us called and complained about the system that is in place to deal with suspected Covid-19 cases.

The head of the family indicated that three members of the household have reasons to believe that they contracted the deadly virus and after a call was made to the nearest Health Centre they decided to stay home and use local herbal medicine to try and treat their situation.

The nurse wanted them to use their own vehicle to come to the facility but the family members felt that could result in other persons at the medical facility for unrelated issues being exposed by them to the virus and felt it was unwise to do so.

In addition, some people with Covid-19 symptoms are using the buses to go to the medical stations for treatment and exposing other commuters who are not aware of the situation.

The government should also look seriously at pressing charges of a criminal nature against those workers or employers who come onto the job with Covid-19 symptoms and pass the virus on to other employees.

So instead of trying to venture into dangerous waters by establishing an Ethics Committee, the country should be hearing more from the government on what is being done to “flatten the curve” in order to grapple with the rising number of Grenadians coming down and dying from Covid-19.

The impression is being given that the government is more concerned with riding out the next few days with the hope that the virus will eventually go away.

In most Caribbean islands, the Prime Ministers have been leading up front in their country’s response to the pandemic but not so in Grenada with our ageing 75-year old leader.

It is no wonder that one of the NNP activists in the south of the island has accused Dr. Mitchell of staying totally in the background and would then turn around and blame the Minister of Health for the tragedy that might beset the Spice Isle from the visit of Covid-19.

That is failed leadership from a Prime Minister who has won more general elections than any other individual in Grenada.