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Two masked men invade Male Surgical Ward after hours

Two masked men invade Male Surgical Ward after hours


Two recent visitors to the male surgical ward of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital have left patients and nurses fearful for their safety, in what a senior health official has described as a serious breach in security.{{more}}

SEARCHLIGHT understands that two men entered the ward long past visiting hours last week Wednesday night, in search of a patient who had been shot earlier that day.

A patient who witnessed the terrifying incident said he believes the men came for more than a courtesy call, and the experience has left him worried.

“We need some tighter security so they could secure the patients and the nurses. I hopeful that they would increase the security, whether guard or SSU… because if a person could leave from the outside and come in the hospital at that hour to hurt somebody… then you must need some form of security, so I would really like to see them equip the hospital with security because one of we could pay the price and we don’t deserve to pay the price,” the man said.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on the condition of anonymity, the patient recounted the ordeal, which he said took place some time after midnight, just as he was about to fall asleep.

“When I dozing off, I see somebody pass by the louvres there, so I say ‘that must be a jumbie gone dey’; is the first I going see a jumbie, so I watching good.

“But the person stand up by the door and peep in and then go down to the next side of the door and go inside and sit down on a bed over there,” the patient recounted.

“So, I watching the person good, good, good. He come, he start to peep in man face.

The witness described the intruder as tall, dark, and bareback.

He said he did not see the individual’s face, as he had what appeared to be a black t-shirt around his face, which made it impossible for him to be recognized.

“I had a partner who was on that bed over there, the partner was covered right over, he (the intruder) went and hold up the sheet and start peeping in he face to see if that is the person, but that wasn’t the person,” the man told SEARCHLIGHT, while gesturing and pointing.

“….For sure he had a tool (weapon) on him, because when he going at the partner to search the partner face, he had he hand like that and peeping in the partner face to make sure that is the man he looking for, and is definitely is kill he come kill somebody in here.”

The patient said that when the visitor did not find the individual he was looking for, he approached a nurse asking “Way the person who get the gun shot? He down here?” to which the nurse replied “no”.

The patient said that the man then left the ward, but about half an hour later, another individual came on the ward.

“When I look I see a next human come in again with a black jersey. This time he showing he hair and long beard and asking the nurse if the person still in here with the gun shots, so the nurse say “no” and he jump over the bar.

The patient told SEARCHLIGHT that he understands that the police were called and one of the individuals was apprehended.

This could not be confirmed by SEARCHLIGHT, as calls to the Criminal Investigations Department of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, requesting information, were not returned.

“I was scared, especially when the person fist me and then he put he face a how and then I see he put he hand by he side like he push down whatever he had…. He fist me because he know I see him.

“Me heart beat plenty, because is the first I experience them kinda thing dey. I wondering now if the person been in here, what woulda happen to people on the ward, because here should be more equipped with security.”

SEARCHLIGHT understands that this is not the first time an incident of this nature has occurred at the hospital, especially at the male surgical ward, which accommodates mostly patients who are recovering from injuries inflicted through violence, including the patient who spoke to SEARCHLIGHT.

Also speaking under anonymity, one nurse confirmed that the incident did occur, and also expressed her own concern about working on that ward, especially at nights,

“You have a lot of stab wounds and stuff like that, and people always coming to look for revenge in those cases.

“The only how police or prison officers would be on the ward is like if they are there with a particular prisoner or something like that,” she said.

The nurse made an appeal for an armed guard be posted at the ward at all times.

The 30-bed ward, located on the southern end of the hospital, on the second floor, is secured on one side by a wire fence, while on the other side it is unsecured.

A call by SEARCHLIGHT to hospital administration was directed to Luis deShong, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, who said that the matter had been brought to his attention, and was being looked into.

“This is a serious breach in security which will have to be addressed as a matter of urgency,” deShong said.

“There is a security company in place and I believe it is necessary for us to hold dialogue with the proprietor so that we could address the next steps to make some determination about where we go in the future,” he added.

“It is important as the parent ministry that we pay close attention to the security of staff, patients and visitors, and that the members of staff, and that the patients and the public could all be made to feel comfortable when they visit, or when they work, or when they are patients at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.”

deShong said that the matter was discussed with the health minister Clayton Burgin, and assured the public that security is an issue on which the minister places enormous emphasis.

The patient also said that he feels for the nurses, after seeing their facial expressions moments after the incident occurred.

“When I tell the nurse she was real scared too, all them came there and was watching, you could see the fright in them.

“Them is just ladies. What they could do? They can’t defend the patients; they might run and leave we; some ah we got piece ah foot, we go can’t run,” the man said.