The revelation in one of today’s newspapers of the horrors experienced by 92-year-old Kushmawati Girwar whilst seeking medical attention at the San – Fernando General Hospital, can be corroborated by hundreds of other patients who had similar experiences in the past two years in the health sector.
This situation is particularly alarming since only last Friday it was revealed in the nation’s Parliament that the Government was able to “save” two hundred and eleven (211) million dollars from the health sector in the financial year 2018, as it searched for money to balance their accounts.
It is obvious that this “SAVING” came at great cost to those seeking healthcare in the nation’s hospitals. The public must now wonder whether the failure to inject that budget allocated two hundred and eleven million (211) dollars into the health sector in 2018, is now partly the reason why citizens are suffering on a daily basis in the nation’s health facilities.
The question to be answered is why is there such long waiting in the Accident and Emergency Department at the nation’s hospitals?
Journalist Paolo Kernahan, in a recent newspaper article also described a similar horror story that his relative encountered at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex.
It appears that the hard-working doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are not being supported by adequate resources to do their jobs in the manner that they would have sworn to do.
The long waiting time in Casualty for beds is directly related to the length of time inpatients stay in the hospital.
It stands to reason that if blood tests, X-rays, Ultrasounds, CTs and MRIs are taking a long time to get, and drugs and other medical supplies are in short supply then doctors have to keep patients longer in the hospital.
The closure of the Central Block at the Port of Spain General Hospital has decreased the number of overall beds in the system.
The irony is that this Government has refused to use the two hundred and thirty (230) beds and brand-new diagnostic equipment which is sitting idle in the Couva Hospital for the past 3 years.
Additionally, hundreds of qualified doctors and nurses remain out of jobs whilst patients suffer in the nation’s hospitals.
The time has come for urgent intervention by this Government to prevent the complete collapse of the nation’s health sector.