A Chaguanas man, who underwent two emergency triple bypass surgeries in less than a year in the private sector at a cost of $250,000, says he is traumatised and in pain after he developed an incisional hernia following the surgeries.
Instead of improving his quality of life after spending such a large sum of money, Brian Bissoondath, 54, a father of one, now alleges the doctors who carried out both surgeries were negligent.
Referring to himself as a “walking balloon waiting to burst,” he has accused the doctors who did the second surgery of doing a “botched job” which has left him with a hernia on the right side of his abdomen which has been growing.
Living on a daily diet of pain killers and antibiotics, Bissoondath is now appealing to public health authorities to help save him.
Without surgery, Bissoondath said, he will not be able to move around much and his quality of life will deteriorate further.
Bissoondath has registered with the Mt Hope Medical Hospital Outpatient Clinic to receive the follow-up care he urgently needs. But he believes the public health facility is not acting fast enough to address his condition. To compound matters, Bissoondath has requested that one of the doctors assigned to his matter at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex be removed from his case, as he believes “the man is biased and unfair”.
He has requested urgent meetings with Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh and Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram to discuss the situation. Bissoondath said he was aware that a report has been requested from the North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) on his matter.
Bissoondath told Guardian Media that he began experiencing chest pains over a period of time and following several visits to the two public health institutions, was told that he required urgent heart surgery to clear blocked arteries. He underwent heart surgery privately at a well-known medical facility in November 2018 but was told a second such surgery was needed and in June 2019, he opted to go under the knife again. That time, however, Bissoondath did surgery at another well-known medical facility.
However, he claimed following the surgeries his health continued to deteriorate and his mobility has been severely affected. Without medication, he added, his life will be unbearable.
Bissoondath has sought redress from both sets of doctors and has also taken his case to the Minister of Health, hoping for some form of intervention.
He claimed that one of the doctors who worked on him during the private surgery told him that he is an “unfortunate one.” In his correspondence to the Minister of Health on November 2, he said it was “a pity the word unfortunate has now become a very expensive word in the medical fraternity.”
Bissoondath’s claim for redress from the first surgery is still under review. Accusing the second set of doctors of negligence, Bissoondath said he was disappointed and angry over the high-handed manner in which the doctors had dealt with him during the after-care process.
An outraged Bissoondath said there was a particular group of doctors who had formed a private monopoly and were charging people exorbitant amounts of money for routine surgeries they were also performing in the public sector. He said there was no accountability for botched or negligent surgeries.
“I have no choice but to plead to the hierarchy of the Ministry of Health as to the conduct of surgeons who seem to be in control of the cardiac health system,” Bissoondath said.
He alleged one doctor claimed to be “powerful and untouchable with a monopoly in the industry”.
“I am now of the opinion that maybe they have an ‘air-tight contract’ with the Ministry of Health and as such their misdeeds and negligence is easy for them to ‘cover up’ as they are accountable to none in the health industry of T&T,” he added.
When the T&T Guardian contacted the managing director of the hospital where the second surgery was done, the senior cardiologist denied any liability, as he explained they were not responsible for how Bissoondath had healed following the surgery. He defended his doctors and organisation, as he said they had conducted Bissoondath’s surgery observing the strictest medical protocols and guidelines.
According to Bissoondath, who is insistent the group accept liability and attend to his current needs, it is a matter of life and death, as the authorities in the public system are not acting as quickly as he would like.