Scarborough General Hospital

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Steve Wooler
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Scarborough General Hospital

Post by Steve Wooler » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:31 pm

We returned from our annual pilgrimage to Tobago earlier this month. Two weeks into the trip, one of Jill’s knees ‘popped’ for no apparent reason. We had no choice but to head over to Scarborough General Hospital.

Over the years, we’ve heard many a scare story about Tobago’s hospital. In fairness, most of the criticism related to the lack of facilities and ancient fabric of the old hospital at Fort King George. I’d never heard any criticism of the standards of care given. However, it took more than a little sweet-talking to persuade Jill to go to the hospital.

It was a weekend, so there was an absence of senior staff at the hospital. They took x-rays and established that there were no broken bones. Having taken telephone advice from an orthopaedic specialist (probably in Trinidad), they immobilised the leg with a plaster back-slab and gave us an appointment to see a specialist on Monday morning. We were in the hospital for less than 4 hours.

Over the course of the following week they undertook MRI and CT scans. Their final verdict was that Jill had chronic osteoarthritis and had torn both menisci. They say she needs a new knee and offered her surgery at their Port of Spain hospital. We opted to fly home for treatment. So, they recommended that we stay in Tobago until our scheduled return in 3 weeks, to allow the leg to settle and the swelling to dissipate before the rigours of air travel. The plaster cast was replaced with a knee brace.

It was clear from all the scans that they were leaving nothing to chance. During those visits to the hospital we saw many different departments and wards. I appreciate that this relatively small hospital has only been open since around 2012 but I must compliment them on how well-maintained and scrupulously clean everything was. However, even more striking than this was the attitude and manner of the staff. I couldn’t believe how kind, polite and helpful everyone was, almost without exception and regardless of their role in the organisation. Cheerful, friendly attendants with wheelchairs were always on hand to move Jill about and every member of staff who walked past any of the waiting areas invariably gave the waiting patients the time of day. I would have been impressed anywhere. For this to be happening in Tobago – where “Pennysaver Attitude” is more common – was a wonderful surprise.

And, what did all this treatment cost? Well, not a cent. Trinidad & Tobago have a national health system, possibly based on the British system. After Jill’s regular rants about health tourists clogging British hospitals (perhaps an exaggeration, at least in our region) I had great fun teasing her over the fact that she was taking advantage of the T&T NHS.

My purpose in writing this post is twofold: firstly, to extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to the staff of Tobago General Hospital for the excellent care and attention they gave Jill during our recent visit. And, secondly, to assure other visitors that whilst nobody goes on holiday expecting to fall ill or have an accident, our experiences have certainly allayed any fears that we ever had about seeking medical help in Tobago.
Steve Wooler
myTobago.info - the definitive Visitor Guide to Tobago

Hugh S
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Re: Scarborough General Hospital

Post by Hugh S » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:13 pm

This is one of the most positive reviews I have ever seen on this website! Glad it went that way and wishing a speedy recovery to your lovely wife.

Hugh 8)

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Kurt.Halfyard
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Re: Scarborough General Hospital

Post by Kurt.Halfyard » Tue May 16, 2017 2:41 pm

My father's prostrate acted up in Dec. 2015 when we were in Tobago. We took him to the hospital, and he stayed 2 nights while they took exceptional care of him, catheters and drugs and scans and tests, and gave him advice on how to proceed when he returned to Canada. Very nice doctors, nurses, and staff.

And the service and overnight stay didn't cost a penny, even though we are foreigners.

The new state of the art hospital in Scarborough, and the T&T free healthcare for all were absolutely TOP NOTCH.

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Paul Tallet
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Re: Scarborough General Hospital

Post by Paul Tallet » Sun May 21, 2017 8:56 am

I can back that up ... I have been to the Scarborough Hospital twice, one of which was by Ambulance following severe food poisoning (that's another story).

It is like the old NHS in the UK, but modernised. Every Health Department seemed to be operational so that most ailments could be investigated and treated in one visit, avoiding the need for a second visit.

Steve's account takes it up another level, offering surgery !

They tried to keep me in on one visit to re-hydrate me but I declined on the basis that I could not hear the sea from there.

Outstanding service, I am indebted to Scarborough Hospital.

Regards
Paul Tallet
Public Relations Consultant for Mother Nature

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