$1.2B in-patient facility experiencing “teething problems”
- GPHC Boss
The $1.2B In-patient Ward at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) which was officially commissioned last November is currently experiencing some teething problems.
Contractors are said to be working to correct these issues, and finishing touches are ongoing to ensure that this new wing will accommodate more patients.
Michael Khan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the hospital, told Kaieteur News that although this new wing is experiencing some teething problems, it is covered under a one-year liability plan.
It is under this one-year provision that these present deficiencies are being corrected by the contractors.
In addition the contractors are seeking to complete the ground floor of the new in-patient wing.
Khan explained that once full funding is obtained and the design is approved by the Government of Guyana, then the GPHC will proceed to have the job finished.
When this goal is achieved the Paediatric Ward will also be moved to a section of the new in-patient facility by the end of this year, the CEO explained.
While funding and space continue to hinder the developments that the GPHC wishes to ensure, a number of initiatives have been planned for this year.
With a budgetary allocation of $716M for the first phase, construction works on this ward began in 2010 and required an additional sum of $235M (that was budgeted) for its completion.
Kaieteur News was told that operations at the new in-patient facility are “smooth” thus far. The Female Medical Ward was relocated to the said wing late last year shortly after the official opening.
Originally, this new wing was established to address the issue of overcrowding in the hospital which resulted in sick patients having to share their beds with other patients due to the lack of space.
It was reported that at present there are 65 doctors and 60 nurses on the staff at this wing which also accommodates 300 in-patients.
Khan emphasised that the GPHC continues to implement measures which will boost and improve services being offered to patients at the hospital.
Due to such improvements at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit, the work and manner in which things are being done there is more efficiency in dealing with patients.
More doctors have been added to the Unit to ensure that patients in dire need for medical attention receive prompt and quality treatment.
Nonetheless, Khan said that this does not change people’s perception and their view of the A&E.
“We are trying to improve the system and, as I keep saying, this is a very sore issue with the A&E Ward. You cannot come in with a cough and cold and be seen immediately…I keep saying that people must understand that there is a triage system,” the GPHC official stated.
He highlighted cases known to him where patients would visit the best hospitals in other countries such as Canada with much more serious cases and would have to wait close to 13 or 14 hours before they are seen by a doctor.
“I know people in other countries that I have visited, would have to wait for a long period to see a doctor in a worst case situation like a fracture and we here have to understand that. We come here, walk into Accident & Emergency and we have a cold for two days and we want to be treated immediately.”
According to Khan, as the hospital administration continues to expand its services offered to the general public across the country, plans of expanding the hours of operation at some health centres are underway.
The extending of hours at health centres in areas such as Campbellville, Kitty, Industry and Enmore will accommodate pregnant women and mothers who are forced to take a day off and suffer deductions from their salaries at places of employment especially in the private sector.
Additionally, the opening hours at most Medical Outpatients Departments (MOPD) have also been extended.
Also, the GPHC is looking at introducing a new system for children, who would be accompanying their parents to the hospital and these health centres.
“When parents bring their children, they would have a little area to play and occupy themselves while the adults are being treated for whatever health issues they have.”
A training session was conducted recently to prepare the staff of both the hospital and health centres for such time when these facilities are created. (Kristen Macklingam)