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San Fernando Blind Welfare manager thanks Newsday

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He said he got his regular NIS benefits after the accident, but then learned of another benefit for disabled people for life, based on an assessment and report by doctors

Deonarine Ragoo, manager of the Blind Welfare Association, San Fernando, has thanked this newspaper for helping him to get his NIS benefits

In October the paper reported on the plight of Ragoo, who feared he might be unable to claim his NIS benefits because the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) had lost his medical files.

Ragoo, who was previously partially sighted, needed the files to access a disability grant after an on-the-job accident in June left him completely blind.

He said he got his regular NIS benefits after the accident, but then learned of another benefit for disabled people for life, based on an assessment and report by doctors.

However, Ragoo said when he went to the SFGH, where he had emergency surgery on June 4 and was hospitalised afterwards, his medical records could not be found.

Ragoo told the Newsday of his difficulty in getting the documents to meet the NIS deadline and the less than helpful nature of staff at the hospital. He said they kept him waiting for hours on the day of his appointment, then told him they could not find the files.

A former councillor on the Princes Town Regional Corporation, who is due to retire after 40 years’ service to the association, Ragoo said he needed that benefit.

At that time acting CEO of the South West Regional Health Authority Dr Pravinde Ramoutar promised to help.

On Tuesday Ragoo told Newsday he got positive results the day after his story was published on October 13.

“The NIS called, the doctor at the hospital called. At the eye clinic, where my cell phone number was taken and staff promised to call, they too called for me to come in. They told me I did not need to line up, but to walk straight in, as they were expecting me.I went in and got everything signed up in record time.

“That is the power of the media.

“Thank you, Newsday,” Ragoo said.