In paying tribute to the late Minister in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Desrey Fox, I remarked that there is more that Guyanese need to know about the sudden death of the Minister. The occasion of her funeral was not the appropriate time to raise some matters surrounding her death. However, the Guyanese people need to be informed whether her death was a result of the accident alone or whether there were any intervening events such as professional negligence at the Georgetown Hospital that contributed to her sudden death.

All Guyanese were informed that her condition was stable. Why then did she die? She was a serving Minister of the Government and one expects that there would have been special attention given to her particularly in the context of several previous reports of shabby treatment meted out to patients at the Georgetown Hospital.

It was known that the Minister had broken bones. I have been advised by competent medical professionals that in any such situation it should have been known that the possibility of further injuries to her lungs while in hospital was possible and preventive steps should have been taken. I have been further advised that it took several days before she was taken into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where her medical condition could have been properly monitored and action taken if the need arose. The fact that she was only transferred to the ICU on the very day she died begs the question, why so late? Was there professional negligence?

This matter has serious implications for the service that Guyanese expect from this Government institution. If a Minister of Government is treated in this manner, what can ordinary Guyanese expect? However painful it is, we cannot afford to sweep this matter under the carpet as has been done with many similar reports of incidents at the Georgetown Hospital.

I demand, and I hope the relatives of Dr. Desrey Fox and Guyanese generally, also demand, a thorough investigation into this matter. Any self respecting Government ought not to evade the discovery of the truth surrounding the death of a serving Minister of the Cabinet.

Robert H O Corbin
Leader of the Opposition
Thursday December 17, 2009