NWRHA suspends employee after fight with security guard

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The entrance to the Port of Spain General Hospital. FILE PHOTO – Faith Ayoung

THE North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) has suspended a staff member after video of a fistfight with a security guard at the Port of Spain General hospital (PoSGH) went viral on social media last week.

NWRHA CEO Anthony Blake confirmed the incident took place on Friday afternoon and started after the member of staff failed to present proper identification documents to the security at the entrance to one of the hospital’s carparks.

Friday’s incident comes 19 days after gunmen stormed the hospital and gunned down victims of an earlier shooting incident in Gonzales who had been brought for treatment at the A&E department on June 2.

Four people died across those shooting incidents.

One of them was shot and killed at the hospital.

Blake said, “Our initial investigation says it is a member of staff that was attempting to come into the facility without showing the necessary identification or having the necessary drive-in carpark pass for the entrance.”

Since the shooting incident on June 2, the NWRHA has taken additional steps to ensure the safety of its staff and other hospital users, including the installation of more cameras and a security gate at the A&E entrance, and a higher presence of armed security at the PoSGH.

“Considering the challenges we have had with security at the PoSGH, we have a more rigorous examination of people coming in the drive-in entrance.

“That entrance at maternity is actually a staff entrance and to go to the staff carpark you’re supposed to have a sticker on your car, which we would issue to staff or you present your staff ID.”

In the video, a man wearing a white vest is heard arguing with the security guard at the entrance.

The man then strikes the guard, who attempts to back away. The man then chases the guard before both men fall to the ground in a scuffle.

Blake said after receiving statements from the security company along with the hospital’s CCTV footage the authority will now launch an investigation into the incident.

“The RHA has a conduct regulation which will allow us to quickly do our investigation.

“A tribunal will be set up, because there must be natural justice, to prescribe whatever is the necessary punishment moving forward.”

He added that a member of staff has since been suspended.

Blake assured, “That level of behaviour will not be condoned at the RHA (regional health authority).”