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65 % not happy with Govt management of healthcare

trinidad guardian opinion poll conducted by ansa mcal psychological research centre, uwi
Sunday, March 15, 2015

Long waits for medical attention and for surgeries, no beds, poor healthcare, verbal abuse, negligence and prescriptions not filled in a timely manner are some of the major complaints levied by sick patients and their families against public health institutions in T&T, as evident in numerous media reports. This has led many ill citizens to choose a private hospital over a public one, once they can afford it. 

In response to incidents of poor service in the health sector that have endangered people’s lives, Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan outlined a number of measures to improve the delivery of service, ranging from an injection of foreign doctors and nurses from Cuba, India and Uganda, new lab services, customer relations training, more equipment, fostering of a healthy work attitude, increased supply of beds, and a decrease in the wait time for admittance. 

In a recent survey on the government’s management of healthcare, 65 per cent of respondents were unsatisfied. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents said they were “totally unsatisfied,” while 38 per cent said they were “unsatisfied.” These were the findings of a Trinidad Guardian poll conducted and supervised by Prof Derek Chadee, director of the ANSA Mc AL Psychological Research Centre, University of the West Indies, St Augustine. 

The poll, a nationwide survey held from January 29 to February 3, interviewed 507 respondents over the age of 18 selected by a random digit dialling method. The intention of the survey was to assess popular opinion on a number of major issues. Overall, the sample consisted of 35 per cent Afro-Trinidadians, 39 per cent Indo-Trinidadians, 25 per cent Mixed race and one per cent other groups. Of the sample, 53 per cent were females. The margin of error is plus or minus four per cent.

With regard to the government’s management of healthcare, almost two-thirds of respondents indicated that they were not satisfied. Precisely, 27 per cent reported that they were “totally unsatisfied,” 38 per cent “unsatisfied,” 29 per cent “satisfied,” and three per cent “totally satisfied.” For analyses, the categories “totally unsatisfied” and “unsatisfied” were re-coded into a single category, “unsatisfied.” “Totally satisfied” and “satisfied” were re-coded into the category “satisfied.”

Analysing responses by ethnicity, Afro-Trinidadians were most “unsatisfied” with the Government’s management of healthcare, followed by Mixed people. Specifically, 73 per cent Afro-Trinidadians, 68 per cent Mixed, and 56 per cent Indo-Trinidadians stated that they were “unsatisfied”—a five per cent difference between Afro-Trinidadians and Mixed, and a 17 per cent difference between Afro-Trinidadians and Indo-Trinidadians. 

Forty-one per cent Indo-Trinidadians stated they were “satisfied,” followed by Mixed (29 per cent), and Afro-Trinidadians (24 per cent)—a 17 per cent difference between Afro-Trinidadians and Indo-Trinidadians. Analysing responses by sex, 65 per cent males and 65 per cent females indicated that they were “unsatisfied,” while 32 per cent of males and females responded “satisfied.”

With respect to educational background, 71 per cent of technical/vocational and 69 per cent of tertiary-educated people indicated that they were “unsatisfied,” with 61 per cent secondary and 59 per cent primary-educated respondents also indicating dissatisfaction with the management of the healthcare sector.


How satisfied are you with the government’s management of healthcare?

    • We never get proper service at health centres or at hospitals
    • They need to buy new equipment to upgrade the hospitals
    • There are a lot of sick people waiting outside hospitals to get treatment
    • It’s simple things like wheelchairs and beds which are needed

    • San Fernando hospital is improving
    • The new health centres are well-equipped  
    • Couva healthcare service is remarkable

How satisfied are you with the Government’s management of healthcare?

Totally unsatisfied    27 per cent
Unsatisfied    38 per cent
Satisfied    29 per cent
Totally satisfied    3 per cent
Don’t know    3 per cent


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