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T&T populace DUMB

I dont normally wade into ppl personal business buh this one struck a cord… is only cause scene point it out… i kinda was sleeping fuh d day… REAL MESS… i wonder how many ppl are afforded this opportunity or is it only reserved for Govt Ministers who own their own profitable businesses and could pay… cause i still waiting for a lil something… is more than a year now a note went tuh Cabinet with meh name pon it… like it get lost in all the paper work…

By Andre Bagoo Thursday, November 12 2009



A SUDDEN and dramatic deterioration of her hearing has left Carolyn Hunt, the wife of Sports Minister Gary Hunt, deaf.

Yesterday, Hunt confirmed his wife’s diagnosis but would not comment on information reaching Newsday that the Government paid $324,069.13 in medical expenses to help Mrs Hunt get treatment related to her condition.

The Minister and Mrs Hunt’s medical and travelling expenses were taken-up by the Government to cover the period from when Mrs Hunt suddenly experienced hearing loss in December 2008 up to June of this year when a procedure for the insertion of a cochlear implant was scheduled.

The expenses broke down into: $53,160.85 for a trip to the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, United States, between December 8 to December 13, 2008; $42,758.28 for another trip to the same hospital between March 8 to March 15, 2009 and $228,150 for the cochlear implant procedure done at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in June, 2009.

Cabinet gave approval for the costs of the two trips to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore which saw Hunt accompany his wife on one of them.

In February, Cabinet was informed that Mrs Hunt had suffered sudden hearing loss in late 2008. The Cabinet was also informed that Mrs Hunt had been advised by her doctors that the treatment required to deal with the problem was not available in Trinidad.

As a result, Cabinet agreed to pay for her expenses for a trip she made three months earlier in December to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. That trip, totalling $53,160.85, saw her incur $38,519.90 in medical expenses, $6,991 for airfare, $5,935.41 in accommodation for the five-day trip and $1,714.54 for medication.

In April, Cabinet approved funding for another trip for follow-up medical attention incurred in March when Hunt accompanied his wife to the hospital in Baltimore. That $42, 758.28 trip broke down into $15, 828 for airfare for the couple, $6, 667.47 for accommodation and $20, 262.81 for Mrs Hunt’s medical treatment.

Newsday understands that the procedure at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex was done by a team of doctors flown in from Johns Hopkins in June. The medical procedure in respect of the cochlear implant for Mrs Hunt cost US$36,000 (TT$228, 150). The procedure, done by the team from Johns Hopkins, also involved a local team of doctors.

A cochlear implant is an electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing by directly stimulating any functioning auditory nerves inside the cochlear with an electric field. Mrs Hunt would not be able to hear without this implant.

According to the Eighty-Ninth Report of the Salaries Review Commission (SRC), a government minister is entitled to medical care once it occurs within Trinidad and Tobago. The SRC notes that ministers have an entitlement to medical attention or treatment and prescribed drugs for themselves, spouses and children at any health care facility under the Regional Health Authorities, including the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex.

“My wife is deaf,” Hunt said yesterday. “Please understand that. I am a political target, but I do not want my wife to be attacked.”

Mrs Hunt’s medical troubles will remind many of a line of successive government ministers and their spouses who have had to endure medical troubles while in high-pressure public office. Among them is Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday whose wife Oma Panday last year underwent treatment for heart problems in London. Panday himself has a history of medical and heart troubles. As does Prime Minister Patrick Manning who last year flew to Cuba for surgery to treat a cancerous kidney in Havana at the expense of the Cuban government.

Expressions of sympathy and compassion for Mrs Hunt were given yesterday, particularly as her husband is now the subject of public criticism for expenditure by his ministry of $2 million, the cost of a giant national flag at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

i not attack the wife but the system that she has allowed to be abused… i wonder if she go hear bout this… SMH!

  1. 13 November, 2009 at 0:22

    I have it from a first hand source that when then Minister of Health Hamza Rafeeq had to have heart surgery, and his wife was to accompany him, he told then Prime Minister Basdeo Panday that he will pay for his wife himself to accompany him, because ‘she did not work for the Government and she is my responsibility’.

    What a difference between these two regimes!!!

  2. 13 November, 2009 at 11:49

    UNC MP wishes Mrs Hunt well
    By Andre Bagoo Friday, November 13 2009

    CARONI EAST MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh yesterday expressed sympathies for Carolyn Hunt, the wife of Sports Minister Gary Hunt, who has been diagnosed as deaf following a sudden deterioration of her hearing. His comments came as an outpouring for Mrs Hunt also occurred on her husband’s profile on Facebook, the social networking site.

    “I am very sensitive to the illness of all persons and I wish the wife of the Sports Minister a speedy recovery,” Gopeesingh, a practisping doctor, said. “I empathise with Mrs Hunt’s medical disorder and wish her well in terms of the restoring of her hearing deficit.”

    He added, “at the same time, the principle of the State caring for a minister’s family should be applied equally to all children and citizens who are unable to seek medical help nationally and have to be referred for international medical treatment.”

    “Generally, the Government has a moral obligation to look after all citizens equally. And fairly and urgently. We should not hear of cases of officials waiting until patients are almost at the point of death to then offer some last minute assistance,” Gopeesingh said. He noted that Mrs Hunt’s condition, which saw her lose hearing and have cochlear implant surgery, was a common one.

    “There are many people who are referred to ear, nose and throat specialists who require a cochlear implant. I am not aware whether any of the ear, nose and throat specialists are doing this procedure now in Trinidad and Tobago. If they are, it would only be a recent practice.”

    On his Facebook profile Gopeesingh posted, “I call on all citizens to therefore join the UNC’s call on Government to ensure that the people who benefit from its free medical funding include all citizens and not just the chosen few in Cabinet or those who can afford the medical bills on their own.” At the same time, on Hunt’s own Facebook profile, there was an outpouring of support from the online community.

    “You are both in my prayers. Be strong and be there for each other. God tests our faith in many ways,” wrote one Rhonda Stephen.

    While one Anderson Morris wrote, “Sorry to hear of your wife’s hearing loss. I’ll pray for you and your family during these trying times.”

    “Just read about your wife’s hearing loss. On behalf of my family and the Mausica/Maloney electoral district I wish to express our sincerest sympathies to her and pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen you as you seek to come to terms with this personal trial. God bless,” wrote Eric Ribeiro.

  3. Hell NO
    14 November, 2009 at 8:13

    What about Medical Insurance- don’t tell me it does not exist for Ministers and their family- oh wait we taxpayers are their insurance. WHY are we paying for this- Mrs Hunt has been sick for years before this man became a Minister of the PNM

  4. 1mauvaislangue
    28 November, 2009 at 16:53

    what de mudder donkey…mean while the hospital in a mess…

  5. perdere
    30 July, 2011 at 13:15

    I’m no longer certain the place you’re getting your information, however great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thank you for fantastic info I was searching for this information for my mission.

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