The feasibility of having an operating theatre close to the Maternity Unit is being examined by the management of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in the entity’s quest to reduce maternal mortality.
Director of Medical and Professional Services, Dr Madan Rambaran, made this disclosure during a recent interview. According to him, although the hospital’s maternity programme has recorded many successes over the years there are some challenges that surface on occasions. “We have our challenges but then again we do a lot of good work too but when one patient has a bad outcome then it appears as if the whole department has been doing nothing,” Dr Rambaran opined. He emphasised that more than 5,000 pregnant women utilise the services of the hospital on a yearly basis, adding that they have safe deliveries and return to their homes with healthy babies. Though not in a position to comment on the number of maternal deaths recorded at the hospital last year, Dr Rambaran did admit that there are problems with the current maternal mortality rate, a situation he said the hospital has to continually work to reduce.
He divulged that among the areas that are being examined in this regard, are the outfitting of the maternity department in terms of its equipment; strengthened foetal monitoring and the strengthening of human resources.
Under even closer scrutiny, the Director disclosed, are mechanisms which could either see an operating theatre being located within the Maternity Unit or one which could see quicker movement of patients who require Cesarean Section to the main operating theatre. “We will have to consider whether we will have two Emergency Rooms operating continuously because one of the problems right now is that there is always a competition for operating room time,” Dr Rambaran revealed.
However, it is the Head Doctor’s belief that there is a crucial need for a dedicated operating room for the Maternity Unit. In fact he is optimistic that a mechanism to support his conviction will be put in place this year.
Meanwhile, Dr Rambaran has admitted that there is a problem with the quota of beds available within the maternity unit. He noted that despite the many criticisms levelled at the institution many persons still opt to bypass the referral system and seek their medical attention at the Public Hospital. This he attributed to the increased number of patients that utilise the services of the Maternity Unit. “People are coming here, so indeed because of the number of patients we are seeing and the number of beds we have, create a situation where many times we have more than 100 percent occupancy rate within the Maternity Unit.”
However, Dr Rambaran cautioned that it would not be wise on the part of the hospital’s management to reflexively increase the number of beds. According to him, the strategic vision is to improve the peripheral services (regional facilities) so that more patients can utilise them rather than venture to the GPHC. “A lot of work is going on in this area so we anticipate that as such programmes kick in we would have less patients in this hospital,” Dr Rambaran asserted.
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