There will be Opposition pressure in Parliament today for Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh, including a call for his resignation.
United National Congress whip David Lee said yesterday that the Opposition will pilot a debate of no-confidence in Deyalsingh at today’s House of Representatives sitting. Today is Private Member’s Day when Opposition business is done.
The motion against Deyalsingh by UNC Caroni East MP Dr Rishad Seecheran, states that the Minister of Health “has persistently demonstrated his inability to effectively undertake his duties in the health sector for the welfare of our citizens.”
“Be it resolved that this House express a lack of confidence in the Minister of Health and call for his immediate resignation,” the motion states.
It’s the Opposition’s latest no-confidence motion, after others against National Security Minister Stuart Young and another against former Energy Minister Franklin Khan when he was alive.
That’s still on the agenda expected to be continued against current Energy Minister Young.
A similar motion against Finance Minister Colm Imbert is also still on the agenda.
Lee said the motion isn’t Seecheran’s only, since individuals would have called on the Opposition to use the option. The motion encompasses all health issues in Deyalsingh’s six-year tenure, particularly COVID matters.
“This isn’t something we want to do but we’re asked by the people to call him out. In six years, his handling of the ministry leaves much to be desired. He’s the Health Minister and we’ve reached 768 COVID deaths seeing many different issues arising with the pandemic.”
Lee said families like those of COVID victim Lilawatte Singh hadn’t seen their relatives for weeks until told they had died.
“There are many unknowns when you enter hospital for COVID. You hope to be taken care of, we don’t know if that’s occurring. People need answers, families are seeking closure. We hear horror stories of victims in the tents at some hospitals. Some never emerge,’’ Lee said.
On whether any families asked the UNC to take the Government to court for information on deaths, Lee said he wasn’t aware of any attorney doing that, although former UNC senator Gerald Ramdeen did a matter on burials.
“That’s why we’re seeking a commission to find out about patient care, many lost loved ones and didn’t get closure.”
At UNC’s Monday forum, UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar read the account of a person whose father died of COVID last Sunday. It was UNC activist Allan Karim’s parent. He’d stated his father needed emergency treatment but the Couva Hospital had no empty beds and his dad was sent to Mt Hope (Accident & Emergency) Unit.
“Last Saturday, he remained waiting all day there (no treatment). I spoke to him Sunday. His last words to me were, “I’ll talk to you later, I’m stifling.” My dad may have had COVID but COVID didn’t kill him, negligence and lack of proper treatment killed him. People need answers, the country demands accountability.’’