Cats or rats? New Amsterdam Hospital battles unwanted ‘pets’


Stray cats have been occupying the New Amsterdam Public Hospital in Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne) for a number of years. Since this presents a less-than-ideal situation for delivering patient care, efforts are being made to remedy the situation.

The concerns about the cats were publicized after photos were circulated on social media. When contacted on Wednesday, Dr. Bob Ramnauth, the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, explained that these stray cats breed in the nearby school and would later relocate to the hospital.

Over the past few months, more cats have appeared and inhabited the hospital. This is because the extended school closure prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic allowed them to reproduce without disturbance.

And, Dr. Ramnauth said that the cats are “wild” and cannot be caught. He also affirmed that the hospital would not engage in the draconian practice of poisoning the animals.

“This is an existing problem for many years,” Dr. Ramnauth lamented.

To remedy this, he related that the management of the hospital has been engaging volunteer groups in Georgetown to rescue these animals and house them in shelters.

Additionally, Dr. Ramnauth noted that the hospital has also engaged these same groups on spaying and neutering – that is removing the reproductive organs of the cats so that they would not be able to reproduce.

Yet, there is another factor to consider. The CEO says that he has been told that when the cats go away, other unwanted pets emerge.

“…whenever they lower the cat population too low, the rat population goes up really high.

“So I hope you can understand the situation we are trying to deal with so far,” Dr. Ramnauth said.

It appears as though the situation takes a literal meaning to the popular idiom: “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”

Unsanitary conditions inside of the New Amsterdam public Hospital in Region Six (Photo taken from Facebook)

And as such, the health authorities have to find a way of ridding the hospital of all of these animals.

Meanwhile, photos of unsanitary conditions at the hospital were also circulated online- showing dirty bathrooms and walkways.

The CEO said that he has noted people’s concerns about these challenges and assured members of the public that the issues are being addressed immediately.

He, however, said that in some instances, there are stains that cannot be removed and as such, he has made a request for the tiles to be changed.

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