February 27, 2021, 09:37:57 AM

Author Topic: Fuad bans Paediatric Hospital from accepting McDonald’s US$10,000  (Read 366 times)

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Offline sammy

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  Good work Colm!!! 

Health Minister Fuad Khan has banned the Wendy Fitzwilliam Paediatric Hospital from accepting a $64,000 donation from McDonald’s because of the link between the fast food industry and childhood obesity and a number of chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes.

Speaking in the House of Representatives, at Tower D, Waterfront Complex, Port of Spain yesterday, Khan said that while Government was “very glad for foreign direct investment”, it was not happy to see a McDonald’s clown inside the paediatric ward, marketing the company and engaging in “subliminal advertising”.

Khan said he was shocked to see a picture in the Business Express(of October 12) of McDonald’s “Chief Happiness Officer Ronald McDonald”, a clown, announcing that McDonald’s had donated US$10,000 to the hospital.

“I would be writing to the Foundation (to instruct) that no money from these fast food enterprises should reach Mount Hope Children’s Hospital,” he said to desk thumping.

“That’s right,” Education Minister, Dr Tim Gopeesingh said.

“We have to protect our children and we have to decide, if we want to make sure that our children grow healthy and they don’t have the expense in the future, of kidney problems, et cetera,” Khan said.

He noted that this country had refused to accept $10,000 from softdrink manufacturers Pepsi and Coca Cola to replace some exercise equipment, while other Caribbean countries did.

He said there was a direct correlation between increasing obesity in the population, including alarming rates among children and adolescent, and the consumption of fast foods.

He said the correct mixture of salts, sugars and fats (especially when combined with flavour enhancers such as MSG,) created a “serious food addiction”, similar to addictive drugs, alcohol or nicotine.

Noting that Trinidad and Tobago had the highest rate of diabetes in the Caribbean, Khan said the combined economic burden of diabetes and hypertension in Trinidad was over $500 million a year.

In response, Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert stated that the Minister of Health meant well but he tended to say the oddest of things.

Imbert said, “This is a member (Khan) who held a fete at which there was consumption of alcohol and he attempted to make a donation to the Children’s Life Fund from the proceeds and it was refused because the proceeds came from the sale and consumption of alcohol.

“I believe he means well but he says the strangest of things. The first entity in Trinidad and Tobago whose contribution was refused to the Children’s Life Fund was none other than the Minister of Health. And he get vex you know, get on and get vex and so on when they refused to accept the money,” Imbert said.

Imbert said it was the same Khan who spoke about the fast food industry, about Mc Donald’s employing a clown named Ronald and who declared that Government would not be accepting any funds from fast foods for children’s facilities.

The Health Minister also listed a number of initiatives to deal with the backlog of surgeries.

Khan said the Ministry planned to ask doctors and nurses in the public sector to work on weekends and at times when they are not rostered to work using overtime, so that surgeries can be done outside of the existing hours of 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. He said the theatres in the public health sector are currently under-utilised and were vacant for 18 hours a day, except for emergency surgeries.

Noting that the waiting list of cataract surgeries in the public sector is estimated at 5,000, higher than any of the other surgeries, he said, the surgical optimisation programme would significantly reduce this backlog.

He said there would also be some outsourcing of surgeries to the private sector where they are not provided in the public sector and private sector staff may be contracted by the Regional Health Authorities (RHA) to undertake surgeries in the public sector theatres. —RT

"Giving away something in charity does not cause any decrease in a person's wealth, but increases it instead. The person who adopt humility for the sake of Allah is exalted in ranks by Him".