Once again the island’s allegedly poor healthcare system has come under immense scrutiny, this time it’s not just for an injury, but what at least one relative is blaming the system for the death of a loved one.
Last Week Friday many filled the pews of the Christ the King Anglican Church in Hillsborough, to pay their last respects to Thomas Quashie of Mt Pleasant who was affectionately called – Uncle Tom.
However, while death is a certainty, his nephew, George Blaize, who returned from New York to attend the funeral, says that had there been a more professional approach towards caring for his uncle, he may well have been alive today.
“The death certificate shows that my uncle died of malnutrition. Can you imagine that in this day and age”? He was furious at the cause of death.
“Uncle Tom” was a resident of the Hermitage Home for the Elderly when he died. Mr Blaize points out that there is a need for qualified persons to be employed at the institution, especially when they are there to take care of the elderly. This he says is further frustrating as he had earlier raised a concern about the poor health situation in the sister isles and country as a whole. Admitting that we are all on earth for a period of time, Mr Blaize says that the pain of his uncle’s passing is nevertheless unbearable.
“It seems like when you’ve gone past 80 years, your time at the home is just to die. Why can’t these workers show more dignity and respect for our seniors who fall under their care”, he questioned.
Mr Blaize says that considering the enormous sacrifice and contribution the elderly have made to society, he thinks that structures must be in place and monitored to ensure that they enjoy their twilight years to the fullest.
“What is the government doing? They seem not to be playing an active part in what’s happening. They need to monitor the homes to ensure that they are run by a qualified and competent staff”, said Mr Blaize in an upset tone.
Two years ago Mr Blaize did a story in Inside Carriacou and Petite Martinique expressing his concern with the current health system. He says that it’s a sad situation for senior citizens to depart this earth in the manner in which his uncle did.
“This was a place that was paid to take care of and they fell really short. I’ve been there and had to feed him and the food couldn’t go down.
They did nothing to liquefy his food so it was either he ate or he starved. This makes me very, very angry”, said Mr Blaize.
Mr Blaize adds that he hopes no one else would have to suffer from such unfortunate and unprofessional attitude, which would lead to his/her departure from this life.
When contacted a representative for the home said that Mr Quashie was well cared for. She stated that he entered the home six years ago after suffering a stroke and that he was always a decent gentleman.