Theft well planned, says CEO

PORT OF SPAIN — The alarm system at the San Fernando General Hospital was turned off before thieves made off with a half million dollar ultrasound machine on August 7, the CEO of the South West Regional Health Authority, Anil Gosine, said yesterday.

He was astonished nevertheless that although not all locations around the hospital were covered by more than 100 video cameras, the thieves still got away with the sizeable piece of machinery.

In an interview yesterday, Gosine said the machine was yet to be found but investigators were making progress. He said private medical institutions would now be targeted in the search for the machine, since the authorities were convinced it was spirited away in a well organised plan.

Since the machine’s disappearance, fewer sonograms have been done at South Trinidad’s main hospital, Gosine admitted.

“We are continuing to try to recover it,” he said.

“In fact, we have right now, our security, along with the police, trying to recover it and get some leads.

“What we can say is that there are only a few nursing homes/medical centres at this point in time that would utilise ultrasound machines, and obviously these are the areas we are looking at.”

He said investigations so far had unearthed information which showed the theft was well planned and executed.

“Apparently the alarm system was shut off, so this was planned,” Gosine said. “The security department did identify they had alarms in certain points which would have been previous to the machine leaving. The alarms were nullified and it seems like it was all part of it.”

He said it was also now critical that the RHA plugged the blind spots at the hospital and improved security protocols.

“We have cameras in the hospital, but not at all locations,” he said. “We have over 100 cameras at the hospital and we are in the process of increasing the number of cameras to all areas of the hospital.

“Now we have an extension, with the Chancery Lane Hospital Complex coming along, we will have some there also.”

He said work on the hospital complex continues and it should be up and running by the end of the year. (Guardian)

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