– no driver on duty
The relative of an ailing baby had to drive an ambulance from Diamond, East Bank Demerara, to Georgetown last Wednesday night, because no driver was available at the East Bank Demerara Regional Hospital.
The unusual incident occurred at around 20:00 hrs on Wednesday when relatives took the five-month-old to the Diamond health facility after the infant had difficulty breathing.
Staff recommended that the baby be transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital. However, there was no ambulance driver on duty. The staffers were forced to turn to one of the baby’s relatives to man the vehicle.
The relative, a licenced driver, then took the child by ambulance to the city hospital.
Chief Executive Officer of the East Bank Demerara Regional Hospital, Kevin Manna, confirmed that the incident had occurred and said that the incident is being investigated.
“I received a report from the doctor on call and the matter is engaging the attention of the Ministry of Health and the Regional Administrator.”
According to the CEO, the baby did not suffer any untoward effects from the delay.
Asked why no driver was available he added: “We are human beings; even ambulance drivers get sick.”
The CEO told Kaieteur News that efforts were made to get an ambulance from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) and the Davis Memorial Hospital. However, no ambulances were available at the time.
He said that whenever there is no ambulance driver, the administration would seek help from the West Demerara Regional Hospital or the GPHC.
Kaieteur News was told that about three weeks ago, relatives of a badly injured man also had to take the patient by ambulance from the East Bank Demerara Regional Hospital to the GPHC, because no driver was on duty.
The hospital is also said to have a shortage of attendants. When victims of the recent Coverden minibus crash were taken to the institution, media operatives had to assist hospital staff in lifting one of the passengers, 77-year-old Manfred Parks, into the hospital’s ambulance.
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