– Patients in need of ultrasound asked to wait until October
Residents of Region Nine, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, who depend primarily on the Lethem Hospital for medical attention, are complaining of the shortage of medical professionals at the facility. Some residents also related that the hospital is often out of drugs.
One case in point is Peter Nash who, after spending one week at the health facility, was forced to take a self discharge and make his way to Georgetown for medical attention.
Nash, 30, said he was experiencing excruciating pain on the right side of his lower back.
According to him, a doctor attached to the Lethem facility told him that he was probably suffering from kidney stones.
However, this could not have been confirmed, not because the health facility is not equipped with an ultrasound machine; but because the hospital has no one with the capacity to operate the piece of equipment.
The ailing man said he was told by the Regional Health Officer to wait until October 14, when it is expected that someone who can operate the machine will be in the Region.
Kaieteur News understands that during the seven days Nash spent at the hospital, he was only given pain injections and saline.
Wincing in pain as he sat on a bench waiting to board a plane to Georgetown, Nash told Kaieteur News “all they did was sore my back with injections…I can’t tell how much (injections) I got, all I know is that it was nuff.”
Nash said he told the Regional Health Officer that he could not possibly wait until October to know what was happening to him because of the excruciating pain he was in.
“I feel really terrible and I told this woman (the Regional Health Officer) that I can’t possibly wait until October; she told me that it is not an emergency,” said Nash.
Mark Rodrigues, another resident of Lethem told Kaieteur News of similar experiences that he had with the Regional Health Officer. He told Kaieteur News, “They don’t even have adequate drugs here. We usually have to rely on the drug stores… I am telling you the drug stores got more medication than the hospital they (government) spend all that money on.”
Rodrigues said that the inefficiency of the hospital, coupled with the unfriendly behaviour of the Regional Health Officer is a real disadvantage for the people of Lethem.
He recalled a popular incident where an ailing woman was reportedly told “prepare to die”…” Now how insensitive can one person be to tell a dying woman to prepare to die?” the man questioned.
Nash travelled to Georgetown on Tuesday. When contacted yesterday the ailing man told Kaieteur News that an Ultrasound done at a private hospital in the city, disclosed that both of his kidneys are swollen and “I have some kind of infection in my kidney as well.”
Asked why he didn’t access treatment from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), Nash said, that is because he was told by the Regional Health Officer that the process at GPHC would be very long. “She had told me that when she said it ain’t really mek sense to come to Georgetown. So with all the pain I was in, I just decided to take the easy way out.”
Nash admitted that he is low on funds but said, “I simply could not have bear this pain any longer.”
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