Nov 07, 2016 News
Head of the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Dr. Zulfikar Bux gave his assurance that persons referred to the A&E Department would not have to wait for extended periods before being treated.
Bux said that the nurses in the department are trained according to protocol to see patients when they arrive, figure out what the emergency is, and thereafter place them into a category according to urgency. The doctor was at the time addressing the media at a sensitisation session held at the GPHC on Friday.
According to the emergency care specialist, there will no longer be complaints from persons about going to the department and waiting for hours before receiving care. Bux said that there are doctors who attend to patients in the A&E and decide the level of urgency for each case, and ensure that the persons are taken care of as soon as possible.
“If you get a gunshot to your chest, I dare to say that 100 per cent of the time you’re going to be taken into the emergency room and be seen. That time has passed and now people who are very sick are being taken care of.”
However, the doctor said that persons arriving with minor issues will have to wait their turn. “If your wife slaps you and you come for a police medical, you will have to wait four to five hours. Our role is to save lives and that’s what we’re doing very well.”
The doctor said that the institution is not at the level yet where it can do VIP care and does not envision it happening in the future. He said that the department’s main focus is lifesaving care.
According to him, training doctors and nurses will equip the hospital to reduce its turn over time. The department treats approximately 150 to 200 patients daily. Bux said that one of the challenges which affects turn over time is that the laboratory department has to serve emergency labs and give labs to the entire hospital.
“Because of that, patients have to wait maybe a few hours more to get their results, but they are not waiting at the expense of their medical condition. Whenever you see a doctor, you’re getting treatment, you’re stabilized. So at no point you can say I had a complication because I was waiting on a lab.”
The doctor admitted that the department does find it difficult to improve its efficiency, but assured that it will improve in time. He said that the A&E is short on resources which he said is a common problem throughout the hospital.
He said that with proper training, which nurses will receive, the hospital and his department particularly, will achieve the correct nurse to patient ratio thus improving efficiency.
Despite these shortcomings, the doctor advised: “If you do have an emergency or you do have a life threatening condition, this is the place to come. If you have a non- emergency or something that is bothering you, the health centres and other outlying hospitals are the places to go.”
He urged that persons in far-flung areas first visit the closest hospital before going directly to the GPHC for treatment. The wisdom behind this is that outlying hospitals can perform initial stabilization of conditions before transferring the patient to the GPHC.
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