Committee to examine COVID-19 hospital care in T&T

    File Photo: Augustus Long Hospital

    Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has announced the formation of a special committee, who will be tasked with examining the level of COVID-19 care given at hospitals.

    He made the announcement at a media briefing held today.

    The Committee consists of:

    • (Chair) Professor Terrence Seemungal, Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI
    • Professor Emerita, Phyllis Pitt-Miller, Consultant Anesthetist and ICU Specialist, and Former Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, UWI
    • Dr. Anton Cumberbatch, Public Health Specialist and former Chief Medical Officer
    • Dr. Vidya Dean, Consultant Anesthetist and ICU Specialist
    • Professor Donald Simeon, Director of the Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development

    Dr Rowley estimates that their task will take about a week, and promised that their report will be released to the public in its entirety.


    According to a notice from the Office of the Prime Minister, the Committee’s tasks are:

    1. To identify the profile of the patients who died from COVID-19 by:
      a. Number and types of comorbidities including obesity
      b. Ethnicity
      c. Age
      d. Gender
    2. To review the definition of ‘COVID-19 Death’ used by the Ministry of Health for consistency with WHO guidelines and standard practice; and comment on the different methodologies for calculating case fatality rate (CFR) and make recommendation for the appropriate methodology for Trinidad and Tobago.
    3. Examine the Admission, Discharge and Transfer (ADT) policy and procedure to determine the impact, if any, on clinical outcome.
    4. Determine if the treatment and management protocols adopted by the Hospitals are consistent within WHO guidelines and international best practice, with access to adequate:
      a. Levels of Staffing appropriate in a mass response to a global pandemic;
      b. Essential Medicines;
      c. Laboratory and Diagnostic Imaging Services;
      d. PPE; Oxygen; other.
    5. Review the standards of care of COVID-19 patients, based on acuity, for uniformity and consistency within and across hospitals in the Regional Health Authorities (RHA).
    6. Identify any other factors that may affect clinical outcomes including, but not limited to:
      a. suboptimal home treatment, for e.g., utilizing non-WHO approved therapeutics;
      b. delayed presentation to health facilities;
      c. efficiency of the transfer system in transporting patients from home to hospital and inter-hospitals in the RHA health network.