West Demerara Regional Hospital dubbed a dead zone
Government has refused to comment on the deplorable condition of the
West Demerara Regional Hospital.
There have been increasing complaints of the worsening state of that hospital over the past few months. Staff members are now worried about their safety and the safety of patients.
According to the staff at the facility, the hospital is falling apart and management is not doing anything to address the issue.
When Kaieteur News visited the hospital, the Emergency Room (ER) was a “dancehall.” The Air Conditioning Unit (AC) was replaced with two fans, both of which had no protective cover. There were no dividers to separate patients. “There is no privacy there; everybody can see what is going on with each other,” a nurse stated.
A patient, Indira Ramlall, said that she was experiencing abdominal pain when she visited the hospital. “When I went there, I was so embarrassed because I am Muslim and our religion does not allow us to be so “open up” in public, but because of my financial condition I was forced to go there.
“I was shy, and I tried telling the doctor but it didn’t make any sense because he hardly knows English. Another thing which bothered me was that I was lying there, while the doctor was examining me, and another Cuban doctor came and she was talking with him in Spanish and they were laughing in a vulgar tone. At one point I thought they were laughing at me,” the woman claimed.
The hospital’s Records Department is “out of order”. Patients’ cards were packed in boxes and stored in the abandoned room, while the staff of that department placed tables and chairs in front of the ER room and had started a new records collection.
A staff member, who is scared of being victimized, said “The thing with them is that every time a patient comes in, they issue a new card and the doctor has to ask that person all over again about their illness.
“Take for instance, if an old woman comes in, the doctor has to ask whether she is allergic to a certain type of medicine but that was not supposed to happen if they had a proper records system. Suppose that woman had come in unconscious?” the staff questioned.
“Is since when this Minister take over then all these things start fah happen,” an asthma patient noted.
Some patients were collecting their X-ray’s films without envelopes.
“The lab is not doing any chemistry test, any cholesterol, sugar, FBS or RBS tests because the machine is not working,” a technician stated.
At the dispensary, live wires were hanging on the ceiling, the shelves were broken and the cupboards were door-less.
“Right now people don’t even want go to that hospital because they call it the ‘dead zone.’ I personally would not take any of my relatives there. Those Cubans don’t even understand some of the complaints people go there with but they ready to give injections,” one of the hospital staff noted.
Kaieteur News understands that the hospital has been in that state since last November.
“When any staff go up and talk to the administrator about the condition, he ready to fire us but we are not wrong. Suppose one day, the wires hanging above our head fall and kill us, what will happen to our family?”
Hospital Administrator, Bharat Persaud, refused to speak, although he was told that the staff at the facility held him accountable.
Calls to the Minister of Health, Bheri Ramsaran, went unanswered, while one of the calls was answered by ‘someone’ who claimed that the Minister is busy and he will return a call as soon as he is available.
Three days have passed and the Minister never returned a call.