Physician Michael Goodluck has confirmed that he is the one speaking in the audio recording in which a man is heard telling persons to join together and ask the Government to fix the road leading to a clinic and buy fans for the facility.
The state-employed doctor, however, suggested that those who have accused him of being unprofessional because of the comments are being hypocritical.
“They’re after me because they know I don’t support them. If I was at that clinic saying Ralph is a genius and how he is the greatest prime minister in the world, this would not have happened. It would not have happened. The whole reaction would not have been the same,” Goodluck told iWitness News on Wednesday.
“Yes. It is my voice. I am not going to hide and say no. That is my voice. That is me, Dr. Goodluck, speaking,” he further said.
He also confirmed to iWitness News that the recording was made at the Lowmans Windward Clinic, where he was attending to persons seeking medical attention.
Goodluck’s comments on the recording, which some media entities have described as a “rant”, has resulted in Member of Parliament for South Central Windward, Saboto Caesar donating two fans to the health centre.
Further the road, which iWitness News was told had been dug up as part of an on-going self-help project, was paved shortly after Goodluck’s “rant”.
The physician told iWitness News that he was having a conversation with persons seeking medical attention at the clinic, many of whom, he said, had also complained about the heat.
“I don’t know if they edited the tape — as they call it, rant — to make it sound as vulgar and disgraceful as they can on my part. There was no ranting.”
Goodluck, who was at the time the district doctor for the area, said he was attending to patients and someone asked him how he functions in the clinic when it is so hot.
“The clinic was recently refurbished but it is very hot. The date in question, I almost fainted in the clinic, so I got up. I was very annoyed, I must say that because I have been asking the nurses why are they not doing something about this heat and the patients had been asking me what I can do for them.
“So, I came out and we were just having a rapport and I was just telling them why they don’t get together and ask the relevant authorities or even business places to get some fans,” Goodluck told iWitness News.
In the recording, Goodluck says a Christian old lady normally lends him a fan but probably needed it that day.
He told iWitness News that he knew he was being recorded.
“In one part, I told them, make sure you all say is Dr. Goodluck speaking and spell my name right.
“I was not talking politics. Primary care is not about a doctor walking in and you put as stethoscope on a patient’s chest and walk back out. It is about community investment, community health and comfort and everything. At least that’s how Dr. Goodluck was trained and Dr. Goodluck envisions primary care since I have been a district doctor now, nearly 17 years,” the UK-trained physician said.
“So, every time I say something and they vex. They’re saying it’s politics. You know, it’s ridiculous.”
He said when he was speaking there was about 80 persons at the clinic and many of them said that almost all of them voted for Caesar “and since we vote for him he hasn’t done anything for us, we can’t get an audience with him.
“The people were saying that. I didn’t hear that on the tape. I didn’t hear that. They probably took out what they want to take out because they want to make it sound isolated. I was there standing in the clinic chastising poor Ralph, and that is what the others with innutritious side effects decide to say to make me sound bad.”
His “innutritious side effects” was an apparent reference to another audio recording that Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves had erroneously said was a rant recorded at a government clinic.
However, iWitness News was reliably informed that that recording, which surfaced earlier this year — some months after it was made, was actually a recording that Goodluck sent privately to a friend who asked him for medical advice.
Regarding the incident recently at the Lowmans Clinic, Goodluck told iWitness News:
“There is nothing unprofessional in what I did. I know how to conduct myself.”
Ask if he told his superiors about the conditions at the clinic, Goodluck said:
“I know you were going to ask me that question. Leh we nah fool weself. They know. They all know about it.”
He said some people are afraid to complain “because you see what’s happening.
“Once you complain to them, people are upset with you. What they want you to do, don’t say nothing just go in their ears and say, ‘Listen, I don’t want nobody to know about this, but the road needs fixing. Listen, ah don’t want nobody know about this but the clinic needs refurbishing or need supplies.’ Whisper in their ears. “Come on! Give me a break! The people see what they need and they talk about it. The people were talking openly about this you know. When they don’t have medication in clinics, people talk openly about this. They can’t blame us,” Goodluck told iWitness News.
He told iWitness News that he was transferred to the Lowmans Windward district to fill-in for another doctor who went on leave.
When he went there the staff told him that the clinic needs fans and they have been complaining about it and nothing has been done, Goodluck told iWitness News.
Asked who told him this, Goodluck said: “The staff. And if they say otherwise, they lie. They will not say that because they are stalwart Labour Party supporters.”
He told iWitness News that when he asked how the staff was functioning in the clinic, “people would make remarks and say, ‘Doctor, they know the place is hot. We asked for fans, but nothing yet.’
“I don’t want to drag people into this, because at the end of the day, you are just going to put somebody out of a job who has expenses and mouths to feed.
“But they know that the clinic is hot but it is just only because Dr. Goodluck finally open his big mouth and it probably caused them some embarrassment they now putting in some fans. But they know.”
Goodluck said he got many calls from the United States and a lot of people were “chastising and ostracising” him because of the reports on the incidents.
“It was not until, I was told, when people actually heard my voice and the way how I spoke and what I said and what it was all about that they realised how benign it was and there was no malice; I was not defaming anybody…
“People actually thought I was in the clinic cussing out Ralph and cussing out the government.”
Goodluck said that while the clinic is new, it is very hot and most patients wait outside in the yard.
“I normally have a big following. Normally, that clinic will have about 20-30 persons. When I am there, we get in excess of 80 persons. So the heat becomes more obvious because of the number of persons, notwithstanding the fact that the clinic is always hot.
“So most persons would go out and everybody is there fanning; even those who remain in the building are fanning. I almost fainted the morning. I had to get out and go out…” Goodluck told iWitness News.
He said that he has since been re-assigned to District 2, where he originally worked.
That medical district includes mainly the Stubbs, Enhams, and Calliaqua, and, “partially”, the Belair and Sion Hill clinics.