Baptiste defends Dr. Ambrose on CT Scan
October 1, 2010
Baptiste defends Dr. Ambrose on CT Scan

René Baptiste, parliamentary representative for West Kingstown, has come out in defence of the decision to place a government-funded piece of medical equipment at her sister’s private practice.{{more}}

Baptiste, who chaired the Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) public meeting last Thursday, September 24, in the West Kingstown village of Ottley Hall, sought to clear the air amidst concerns that a new Computerized Axial Tomography (CT) Machine will be placed at the Caribbean Medical Imaging Center (CMIC), which is owned and operated by her sister Dr. Rosalind Ambrose.

“I will tell you why Dr. Ambrose: because she is a consultant radiologist. She is a clinical professor of radiology. She is recognized by the Royal College of Radiologists. She has published works in a professional journal…. She is the person who would be reading your CT Scan.”

Baptiste, the Minister of Culture, Labour and Electoral Matters, was responding to criticism leveled against the decision by Cabinet to have the $1.4 million machine housed at Ambrose’s clinic at Stoney Ground.

The Minister noted that Dr. Ambrose had previously bought a similar machine in 1997-98, which has since outlived its use.

She recalled that Ambrose had mortgaged her home and received assistance from family members when purchasing the equipment, and decided not to purchase a new one after its expiration.

This new machine, which is being purchased by State agencies, the National Insurance Services and the National Commercial Bank, will be housed at CMIC, because, according to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in parliament earlier this month, there is no space at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

According to Baptiste, the CMIC already has the amenities for a CT scan machine to be placed, and noted that the persons criticizing the decision have no knowledge of the process and circumstances.

“…We have all the bills, and we know whose name is on the bill for the benefit of Daniel Cummings and some woman named Leacock….Kenneth John put in his article she was ‘awarded’ the CT machine. Maybe Kenneth John does not know, so I am extending an invitation to (him) to go to CMIC and he will see a CT scan machine there.”

“She is a citizen. She has done her part. She bought one herself as a contribution. What is Kenneth John’s contribution, writing a weekly column in a newspaper? I said before many years ago that he does not know the price for a pound of galvanize nails.”

The Minister gave a vivid description of the use of the machine:

“The CT scan is for looking at your brain and your body to see if you have a stroke, a brain bleed, if you have meningitis, if you crack your skull, if your brain stem is loose, all those things you want the CT scan for, if you have accidents, multiple injuries; so you could tell the neurosurgeon in Trinidad by broadband access over the Internet: show him the information before he comes to St. Vincent so he could walk with his tools to perform the operation.”

Currently, persons in need of CT scan technology have to travel overseas for such services.