The Leadership of the Regional Health Authorities across the nation must be held accountable for mishaps at hospitals under their care. The recent reported incident of the infant Britney Francis suffering IV burns at the Sangre Grande Regional Hospital raises serious questions. What is worrying is that after reports of the incident with the infant there was no official statement of accountability from the Eastern Regional Health Authority. Instead there is the repeated tendency to hide behind patient confidentiality and ultimately behind the line Minister for Health.
Responsible health care administration requires those entrusted with management to level with the public when errors occur. Frank and open disclosure where there are lapses in the system gives users the confidence that problems are identified. The citizens also need to be informed of what remedies that will be implemented to fix system errors.
Two-month old baby Britney and her mother deserve to know what went wrong. Parents across the nation deserve to know what went wrong and that there is a plan to fix it. Open and full disclosure is the only way for the public to have confidence that the same problems would not be repeated.
Healthcare workers have been stellar during the covid-19 pandemic. The efforts of doctors, nurses, and administrators keep our health care systems running. However, if what is reported is true the behaviour of the nurses is appalling and should result in an immediate investigation. In light of this, it is necessary to have staff trained in customer relations to ensure a most user-friendly health care experience.
The disturbing trend is that the RHAs appear as runaway horses under this Minister of Health. The absence of any comment from the Chairman of the Eastern Regional Health Authority or the CEO demonstrates failure in duty of care. The reference to patients as clients also compounds the issue of lack of compassion faced by citizens.
I call on the Ministry of Health to launch an immediate investigation into the circumstances that led to the burns to baby Britney Maya Francis at the Sangre Grande Hospital. I also call on the Government to take all necessary steps to ensure that Baby Britney gets healed in the shortest possible time at no further expense to her family.