Hospital with an ocean view

via Trinidad Express Monday, May 23rd 2005

WORD ASSOCIATION, anyone? What's the next word or phrase in the following sequence? Paria Falls, Sans Souci Bay, Nylon Pool, Buccoo Reef... If you said "same-day surgery", then you're absolutely correct!

Those place names are the names of the same-day surgery rooms at West Shore Hospital. Located at 239 Western Main Road, Cocorite, the newest private hospital in the country may well be the most comfortable.

El Tucuche, Salybia, King's Bay. If the names on these doorsigns point to the quality of health care they provide, I think to myself, then this hospital must be akin to a 5-star hotel.

As if on cue, Umesh Rampersad, West Shore Hospital CEO, chimes in, "I come from the hotel industry and I can tell you the rooms here are better than rooms in some hotels."

Rampersad and West Shore's Director of Nursing, Shirley Raj-kumar, gave me a guided tour of the impressive new facility.

"Every room has piped oxygen, telephone, cable tv and bathroom," said Raj-kumar, who heads West Shore's nursing staff of seventy-something.

Every room, she added, has an interesting name. She wasn't lying.

Blanchisseuse, Ocean View, Granville, Las Cuevas and Castara, read the doors of the upstairs rooms, where the executive suites are located. Sapphire, Amethyst, Ruby, Emerald, Topaz, Jade, Garnet, Diamond and the list continues down the halls towards the two birthing rooms (Lavender and Mint). Around a corner, the Birthing Suite (Juniper) appears.

"The only one of its kind in the Caribbean," announces Raj-kumar as we enter. "It's a self-controlled unit with bathroom, delivery area, bedroom and family corner."

"The only thing missing is the jaccuzzi," quips Raj-kumar.

"Rose, Jasmine, Lily, Orchid, Lantana, Marigold," the doors whisper as we breeze through the sterilised corridors.

Morning Glory, the room housing the Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.) theatres, holds our attention for some time. Inside, there are several operating theatres, equipped with respirators, monitors, ventilators and infusion pumps.

"Li-tho-what?" I ask, when Raj-kumar describes to me a machine that provides an alternative to surgical procedures like cystolithotomy and pyelolithotomy.

"Lithotripsy," she repeats. "It's a machine that shatters the kidney stones."

At the end of one hall, we meet Dr Sree Venu Potluri, West Shore's Managing Director, who tells us all about the hospital participation in a joint programme with the Ministry of Health to reduce the backlog of hernia and joint surgeries on the Ministry's waiting list.

"It's an opportunity for West Shore to give back to the community," Rampersad volunteers. "The patient pays nothing but the Ministry covers the basic cost of the procedure."

That basic cost, Potluri discloses, is 25 per cent of the West Shore price.

Downstairs, there are Radiology, X-ray, Ultra-sound and C.T. (Computerised Tomography) Scan rooms and the Laboratory, which is run by Victoria Laboratories Ltd. We brush past the tv room/reception area and the cafeteria, which seats 20 and approach the back carback.

Here, Rampersad reveals plans to install a helipad and jetty "so that patients can be transported by sea or air."



Physical Address: 239 Western Main Road, Cocorite.

Phone: (868) 622 9878/9670

Fax: (868) 622 8206; 622 3289

E-Mail: or