It Is All About Priorities
Over the last year, Barbados Free Press and the other Bajan media have reported with increasing concern on the crisis in patient care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The Nation News has recently published some excellent stories by Melissa Wickham. We linked to Melissa’s expose last Saturday with BFP’s Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Horror Stories: Emergency Patients Not Treated After Over 24 Hours Wait!
Last Friday night, a 4 year-old boy died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and as reported in The Nation News article below, the boy’s parents (who are hospital workers themselves) blame the lengthy wait for his death. On Thursday night, a woman died while waiting for treatment – and the recent newpaper articles are full of horror stories.
Folks, before I go to work today I’d like to share my thoughts with you …
The patient care crisis at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been many years in the making, and can be directly traced back to a combination of poor management and criminally inadequate health-care funding by the Government of Barbados.
This is all about priorities.
As a country, we only have so many tax dollars in the pot and there’s only so much more we can borrow. For the last 12 years, the government made other things a priority over health care. This year it is cricket and flyovers that are the priority for government spending. Last year it was something else that was the priority and so on – with health care taking a back seat for at least a decade.
Barbados has enough money to build flyovers and cricket venues or to fix the problems at the QEH: but not enough money to do both. The government chose flyovers and cricket instead of health care.
We say they chose wrong.
Original BFP Post was a request for information that said…
This was just posted by a BFP reader “Junior”…
….heard horrible news that four year old kid died in A+E waiting room at QEH….anybody else with more info..?
..if this true surely Jerome Walcott must resign
Do any of our readers have further information on this breaking news?
UPDATE: Article from The Nation News…
LATE FRIDAY NIGHT, a four-year-old died, while still being treated at the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department.
Justifiably so or not, her parents Cyril Gilkes and Marva Maynard, who are both hospital workers, blame the length of time they had to wait for her death.
On Thursday night, 71-year-old Bonita Sobers, a patient of the Geriatric Hospital, also died while waiting in that department.
That same night a 25-year-old woman miscarried while waiting her turn in the A&E.
Wayne Batson, a severely ill United States citizen who suffers from kidney problems, complained that he was waiting from Wednesday and up to Friday night, still had not been seen.
These were some of the stories told over the last 36 hours by patients who sought treatment at the department and a SUNDAY SUN team was right there in the A&E waiting room to witness some of the horrors.
When our reporter, Melissa Wickham, tried to contact Winston Collymore, director of the hospital, we were told he was not in the island.
We also tried to contact Ricardo Blackman, public relations consultant for the hospital, but to no avail.
President of Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP), Dr Carlos Chase was also out of the island. However, vice-president Dr Oguinbiyi Bayo said that members of the association would meet on Tuesday where the matter would be discussed.
However, head of the A&E Department Mr Haresh Thani, who could not comment on the particular cases cited, said that to help address some of the problems facing the A&E, there were plans to have a “patient advocate” deployed in that department.
This individual, he said, would be responsible for liaising with patients who endured long waits to see doctors, as well as with doctors themselves, who were on the inside attending to the needs of others.
He said communication between both groups was sadly lacking in this department.
“There are cases where people are waiting for four hours and have no idea why they are still there. We badly need to address the lack of communication with patients,” he said.
“We have to try and improve the communication between relatives and patients and the staff at the A&E Department. Very often we sit on the inside and don’t know what is happening outside and people outside, don’t know what is happening inside,” he said.
Thani said last year there was a trial run, a female volunteer did this job.
He said while they were still working out some details, they were hoping that such an individual would be in place soon.